Honorable Firhad Hakim, Chairman of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, Elected 2011

Case Studies

Upgrading Kolkata's Tram Network

January 30, 2020 Kolkata

The city of Kolkata, the earstwhile capital city of India, has a population of 44,96,694 and a municipal area of 205 sq.km. Kolkata has only about 7% of the land area under roads and almost 88% of all the trips are made by walking, cycling and public transportation. Further, Kolkata has a tram system in place from early 1900’s and has undergone a 21st century transformation to complement other modes of public commute.

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To ensure capacity enhancement of one of Kolkata’s vehicular traffic corridors, in 2012 the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) widened the Eastern Metropolitan bypass. However, the project required 228 shopkeepers to move as far as 3 km away, causing major challenge also to the local residents reliant on the local market, exacerbated by the lack of local transport. Hence, the KMDA came up with an innovative solution, deciding to turn the nearby Lake Patuli which was fighting for its ecological survival, into the new home of a new floating market, while turning the lake again into a healthy water body and a flourishing ecosystem.

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