Fresh Air A Luxury In  Tagore’s Land: Kolkata Surpasses Delhi To Become The Most Polluted Metro In IndiaBlack fumes smoke from a bus in Kolkata (Photo Credit: DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP/Getty Images)

In the last 72 hours the cards have turned as Kolkata’s air quality index (AQI) has become worse than Delhi’s, making it the most polluted metro city in the country, as reported by TOI.

A comparison made between the readings at two stations in Kolkata, Rabindra Bharati University and Victoria Memorial Hall with that of Ashok Vihar, one of the worst polluted zones in Delhi, showed that Kolkata is more polluted as its AQI has been consistently higher than that of Delhi.

There are 19 automatic stations in Delhi to monitor the city’s air quality as compared to only two in Kolkata.

With the number of vehicles in Kolkata being barely a fourth of Delhi, the index seems baffling. Environmentalists explain that pro-activeness on the part of Delhi to improve the air quality and apathy in Kolkata may have led to this situation.

Auto emission expert Somendra Mohan Ghosh said, “While Delhi has gone ahead with odd-even experiment, Kolkata has chosen to sit tight and ignore the issue. Worse, it has over the years turned into a diesel vehicle capital with more vehicles running on the fuel that is more harmful than petrol.”

State-owned transport operator, CTC was the first PSU in the country to adopt biodiesel experiment for its bus fleet. But for unknown reasons, it stopped using the greener fuel. The non-availability of cleaner fuel in Kolkata is the prime reason why the city has turned from bad to worse. Delhi’s public transport runs on CNG while 70 per cent of vehicles in Kolkata run on diesel, causing a huge difference.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber