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Green advice for metropolitan area

Cities within the Calcutta Metropolitan Area need to address environmental and climate change issues if they want to be green cities, a recent study by the Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, has said.

By JAYANTA BASU in Calcutta
  • Published 17.03.18
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Calcutta: Cities within the Calcutta Metropolitan Area need to address environmental and climate change issues if they want to be green cities, a recent study by the Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, has said.

Environmental problems associated with housing, transport, air and noise pollution, wetlands preservation, and waste management have been identified as problem areas for Calcutta.

The Calcutta Metropolitan Area comprises the city and urban areas in adjacent districts.

"The Bengal government's Green City Mission offers an excellent opportunity but only if it adopts sustainability guidelines and performance monitoring benchmarks on core environmental issues," a CSE official said at a recent workshop in Calcutta.

The workshop was held in association with the Bengal chapter of the Institute of Town Planners of India.

"Making buildings green is the biggest task. Cities now face the challenge of providing higher levels of comforts to people in resource-efficient ways," Anumita Roy Choudhury of CSE said.

"We have found that buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of energy use; 30 per cent of raw material use; 20 per cent water use; and 20 per cent of land use. But they are responsible for 40 per cent of carbon emissions, 30 per cent of solid waste generation; and 20 per cent of water effluents. Their repairs and demolition cause enormous debris."

Rajneesh Sareen from CSE said houses couldn't be built randomly.

"You need efficient use of natural resources as well," Sareen said. "In Calcutta, the East Calcutta Wetlands are the city's crucial waste disposal system as the CSE study shows that the wetlands handle 810 million litres of waste water a day and save the city an estimated Rs 400 crore a year in water treatment."

Roy Choudhury stressed the need to promote public transport, particularly trams, buses, Metro and water transport.