City Beat: Kolkata Needs A Thorough Clean Up [Video]
People living in the city of joy might soon be able to enjoy faster travel services as the West Bengal government has decided to launch a mono-rail project, connecting Budge Budge in South 24-Parganas and Ruby More in South Kolkata. To be built at an estimated cost of Rs 4,126 crore, the mono-rail link will connect passengers to the proposed Metro rail network between New Garia and the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that the state government would be providing land free of cost for the project rollout.
However, when it comes to cleanliness, Kolkata would need a magic wand to overcome its existing problems. According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), coarse dust particles that arise out of construction activities have turned the city into the fourth most-polluted megacity in the world. According to the report, the findings of which are based on the presence of such particles in the air of the city between 2011 and 2015, the PM10 level in Kolkata during the period was nearly seven times the prescribed limit set by WHO.
There is more bad news for the city. At a global sustainability index of 100 cities, Kolkata is ranked at the bottom. The Sustainable Cities Index is prepared by Amsterdam-based global consulting company Arcadis, in partnership with London-based Centre for Economic and Business Research. The index ranks the cities on 32 indicators, broadly divided into three categories: the economic health, the environment and the quality of life.
At a time when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is going at a great speed towards realising the goal of a Clean India, this may come as a wake-up call.