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India : Sustainable Urban Development

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Calcutta, Bengali KALIKATA (name originated from Hindu Goddess KALI ) , is the capital city of West Bengal and is situated in the Ganges delta (Latitude 22'32'N, Longitude 88'20'E) on the banks of the Hooghly river which divides the region in two ( Figure 1). The conurbation on the eastern bank is known as Calcutta, the western part as Howrah. Calcutta was originally a port but is now some 130 km from the Bay of Bengal due to alluvial deposition. The mean elevation of the city is 6 m above mean sea level rising to a maximum of 9 m. Calcutta Metropolitan District consists of two major municipal corporations, 33 municipalities and 37 non-municipal areas and covers an area of 1,295 km2.

The most striking aspect of the layout of Calcutta is its rectangular, north-south orientation. With the exception of the central areas, the city has grown haphazardly. This haphazard development is most noticeable in the fringe areas around the central core formed by the city of Calcutta and the suburb of Howrah. The bulk of the city's administrative and commercial activity is concentrated in the Barabazar district, a small area north of the Maidan. This has encouraged the development of a pattern of daily commuting that has overburdened Calcutta's transportation system, utilities, and other municipal facilities. Calcutta's system of streets and roads reflects the city's historical development. The main roads form a grid pattern primarily in the old European sector, but elsewhere road planning has a haphazard character.

`City of Pride?'....

Objectives:   The main objective of this project is to contribute towards the effective planning and management of natural resources of the region. It aims to develop an information network for wide dissemination of the output of the project using a multi-media training tool and develop institutional capabilities in the developing countries.

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