Management of Calcutta megacity: a transition from a reactive to a proactive strategy

Samiul Hasan, M. Adil Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Until very recently urban management in Calcutta has been curative, reactive or ad hoc in nature, and the major contributor to its own problems. The holistic and proactive approach adopted, since the 1980s, by both the city government of Calcutta and the government of West Bengal have, significantly, helped to ameliorate some of these problems. The reform measures in the rural economic sector, land tenancy and rural local government systems contributed to the decline of population growth in Calcutta. The improvement in the transportation system equally has helped in keeping the people outside the Calcutta Metropolitan Area (CMA). While these measures have reduced the demand on the city services, the bustee (home of almost 35% of the CMA population) improvement programme focusing on primary health care delivery, education and skills training, as well as improvement in the environment and physical condition, has been able to bring about an overall development in the quality of life of the residents in Calcutta. The paper discusses these aspects, emphasizing the replicable lessons learned from the Calcutta experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development


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