Engineers learn sustainability lessons from Kolkata

Three engineering organisations hosted a seminar that explored how a patch of marshy land turned into a major, sprawling, modern metropolis in India. 

KMRC Managing Director Parashuram Singh receives commemorative ICE 200 book from Utpal K Ghosh.
KMRC Managing Director Parashuram Singh receives commemorative ICE 200 book from Utpal K Ghosh.

Transport, water and urban planning experts have been sharing what they’ve learnt through the development of Kolkata with hundreds of engineers at an ICE event. 

ICE Kolkata, in partnership with the Institution of Public Health Engineers (IPHE) and the Consulting Engineers Association of India-Kolkata (CEAI), hosted a two-day seminar attended by over 160 delegates at Rotary Sadan Auditorium in central Kolkata earlier this month.  

Kolkata, previously known as Calcutta, has undergone huge growth since it officially became a city in 1690. It’s seen phenomenal growth in all areas, from commerce to health, from transport to public utilities, which continues today. 

   

The speakers at the seminar talked about the city’s development over time, as well as how future services can be made more sustainable, based on the lessons learned from past development activities.  

Speakers ranged from Piyush Kansal, from infrastructure organisation RITES, New Delhi, who talked about metro planning for Kolkata, at present and in the future, to Dr Arun Deb from the US Global Water Alliance, who talked about sustainable solutions to the city’s water and sewerage infrastructure.  

Dipak Jha, from Eastern Railway, also provided insight into the plans for Kolkata’s suburban railway system.

There was also an ICE Invisible Superhero at the event, Parthajit Patra, also known as Metro Man.

Patra, the chairman of ICE Kolkata, gave a presentation on the Pulta Water Supply, and its 150 years of operation from 1868 to 2018.  

Celebrating ICE 200 

As part of its bicentenary this year, ICE launched its Invisible Superheroes campaign, which aims to engage the public to help them understand how civil engineers are invisible superheroes helping to transform lives. 

ICE also identified 200 civil engineering projects around the world to celebrate, two of which were in Kolkata: the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation’s (KMRC) East-West Metro Project, and Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) Kolkata Victorian-age Sewer Rehabilitation Project.   

These feature in the commemorative ICE 200 book, and the project owners were presented with copies of the book at the seminar by ICE Kolkata’s most active member, Utpal Kumar Ghosh, who’s been a member of ICE for almost 60 years.  

KMRC’s Managing Director Parashuram Singh and Dr Nilangshu Bhusan Basu, ex-Principal Chief Engineer and Team Leader of the sewer rehabilitation project, accepted the books on behalf of their teams. 

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