City Beat: Kolkata To Host India's First Bus Running on Biogas [Video]
India's first bus to run on human and animal waste will make its debut in Kolkata by March-end. According to media reports, about 12 buses running on biogas will start operations on 12 routes in the City of Joy. These 60-seater non-AC buses will cover a 17.5-km route between Ultadanga and Garia. The best part is that you have to pay only Re 1 as the fee irrespective of the distance you travel. These eco-friendly buses that run on cheap fuel can be Kolkata's answer to the rising pollution levels. Last year, the West Bengal capital stood at the bottom of the Sustainable Cities Index published by Amsterdam-based global consulting company Arcadis.
After touching a new high post-demonetisation of high-value currency notes that was announced on November 8, property tax collections of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation have gone down significantly. When compared to Rs 73 crore earned in taxes between November 11 and November 24, tax deposits fell to Rs 24 crore between November 25 and December 10. This fall in deposits is attributed to Central agencies starting probe into large-scale deposits across the nation.
Meanwhile, about 6.5 lakh people under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation will be able to switch to the unit area assessment method to pay their property tax, as the state Assembly has passed the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2016. Under the new tax regime, taxpayers will calculate the annual valuation of their property on their own. For this purpose, the city area has been divided into six broad categories by the municipal body. This division is made based on the utilities and services available in a locality. This move is likely to make the tax-payment process much faster. It is worth mentioning here that the state government has been undertaking several e-governance initiatives to improve the quality of services delivery.