Commuters' exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) especially BTEX travelling in passenger cars in Kolkata, India were quantified in Phase I (2001–2002) and Phase II (2003–2004). Monitoring was made inside and in the immediate outside of passenger cars fitted with and without catalytic converters using different types of fuels, along two congested urban routes.

In Kolkata city the road transports are maintained by private and Government organization. A major work force belonged to the State Transport Corporation (KSTC), Government of West-Bengal. The pollution caused by these vehicles affects the workers health and caused different types of respiratory problems.

This paper discusses the political circumstances which help explain why the insanitary living conditions of such a large section of India’s urban population have been ignored, and contrasts these with the circumstances which explain successful sanitary reform in Britain in the second half of the 19th century.

Thu, 2016-01-28 (All day)
Wed, 2014-12-03 (All day)

Kolkata Municipal Corporation has an area of 185 km2 and the Kolkata Metropolitan Area is spread over 1,750 km2 with 15 million people. Pollution levels in Kolkata are high and on the rise. The city will have to take steps to reduce motorisation, so that it can deal with congestion and air toxins. The city is constrained by the road space – it has less than 10 per cent of its land area under roads, against Delhi’s 21 per cent. Therefore, even though the city has fewer cars than Delhi the result is the same – growing congestion and pollution.

While several cities across the world have revived their tramways, Kolkata naively ignored its tramways and witnesses the last days of this non-polluting and once-efficient mode of transport. Read this special report in Down To Earth.

Kolkata witnesses the last days of a non-polluting and once-efficient mode of transport, while trams make a comeback in cities around the world.