The awareness about increasing pollution levels has prompted people in urban areas to take up ‘greening’ measures to make their surroundings more verdant. Green cities are being planned out to encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle in urban areas and to maintain a balance between urban development and environment.
New Town in West Bengal is the latest addition to such ‘green’ cities.
The fast-growing satellite city has been recognised as a ‘Green City’ by the Indian Gold Building Council (IGBC). IGBC is a part of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and issues certificates to buildings that are recognised by the state government of Bengal.
Located just north of Kolkata, New Town is a planned satellite city. The area has large areas of cultivable plots and water bodies which have been developed in a planned manner.
The township is focusing efforts on solid waste management. The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has launched 20 waste management vehicles that have the GPS system installed in them. This helps municipal officials track the vehicles to check if they have collected and transported waste in their designated areas.
New Town has a brand new fleet of 20 electric buses. These air-conditioned 32-seater buses can be charged at the four charging points set up in the township.
480 acres of land and 112 acres of water bodies have been converted into a well-maintained Eco-Park. The park also carried replicas of the seven wonders of the world that have become a major tourist attraction.
The city also has three water ATMs at the Eco-Park. Anyone living in the township can go to the nearest ATM throughout the day to collect water.
The township has also launched a cycle-hiring system so people can cycle to close destinations instead of taking polluting vehicles.
Focussing on green infrastructure boosts healthy living around nature. Ecologically friendly alternatives to polluting vehicles, a focus on waste management and exposure to eco-parks will also improve the standard of living of the residents.