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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.
ICE Kolkata Representative and Independent Consultant (Water and Wastewater)
Tallah Tank: Largest water tank, in service since 1911
Ayan is an independent water and wastewater engineering professional with Bachelor’s and Masters’ degrees from India and a PhD in wastewater management from USA.
He has more than 23 years of professional and research experience in Indian and overseas projects funded by national and international agencies in multi-cultural environment. His varied exposure in strategy formulation, investment planning, feasibility studies, master plans, resource optimization, sustainability, review and assessment, detail engineering design, and asset management, mainly pertains to urban water and wastewater systems. He has worked with several national and international consulting firms in a variety of projects in Oman, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
Ayan has over 25 international publications and a book to his credit. As a Fellow of ICE, he volunteers as ICE’s Kolkata Representative, as a CPR reviewer, and contributes to promote civil engineering at local and national levels.
His interests include movies, music, history, technical reading, and writings.
e: [email protected]