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Calcutta had witnessed phenomenal growth in the fields of commerce, industry, transport, health, education, amenities, public utilities, waterways, ports, literature, art and culture, which continues even today. Colonial development of Calcutta started in the 18th century with the construction of several buildings and it became the nerve centre of administration for Continental India. It was called the ‘city of palaces’ and was developed as second only to London, remnants of which are still quite visible even today. Several institutions were established in the early 19th century and further development occurred with the introduction of state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities.
Calcutta also sustained political events and calamities, e.g. partition of Bengal (1905), shifting of the capital (1911), Indian independence movement, air raids during World War II, great Bengal famine (1943), communal violence (1946), partition of India (1947) and, lastly, the creation of Bangladesh (1971), which led to a massive influx of refugees. Hardly any other city in the world had grown so rapidly and endured such enormous historical events.
Calcutta’s journey from a simple place of commerce to evolving into an administrative centre and eventually becoming a hub for Indian social, cultural, educational and literary development is quite unmatched. By virtue of its journey through various events, and accommodating its ever-increasing population and commuters, the Calcutta story truly becomes a ‘benchmark in urban vitality’.
This lecture series concentrates on historical development of Calcutta over the past three centuries, mainly focusing on its heritage of colonial civil engineering, with relevant lessons on sustainability that find their relevance even today with a vision for the future.
Please go to https://zoom.us/join and enter the corresponding Meeting ID: 817 4270 0655. The password is 202021 for all sessions.
Calcutta Port: 150 years of Indian’s first riverine port facility
Ron is a retired civil engineer with over 50 years’ experience in the field of maritime Civil Engineering. His professional works have included major projects spanning Africa, Europe and Asia. He has worked in the prestigious “Transmanche Link” tunnel between England and France and the “Oresund Crossing” connecting Denmark and Sweden. He has worked with Port authorities, Consulting Engineers, and in International Contracting where he became director of Coastal Engineering with a major international contracting group.
In retirement, Ron is both a senior examiner and Panel Chairman for the Institution of Civil Engineers. He is also a member of Engineering Council in UK. He conducts professional reviews for ICE in UK and overseas locations. He has been a regular visitor to India having carried out professional reviews in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. In 2018, he achieved the distinction of having been a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers for more than 50 years.
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