Kolkata: At a time when West Bengal aspires to make Kolkata comparable to London, it has apparently got something in common with some other UK cities in terms of spending on energy bills.
According to a study by the University of Leeds in the UK and Jadavpur University here on transforming Kolkata to a low carbon economy, it was found that the energy bill of the metropolis was almost 10 per cent of its total estimated income of Rs 150,000 crore in 2012.
Andy Gouldson, an official of the University of Leeds, told a seminar at the Jadavpore University today that at least four UK cities, including Leeds city region and Birmingham, spent a similar portion of their GDP on energy.
The study recommended that the metropolis needed to invest around Rs 10,400 crore to reduce its carbon footprint by 15.8 per cent as by 2025, energy consumption and carbon emission would jump sharply if the current trend persisted.
"A series of measures like the shift from high-cost petrol to low-cost LPG in auto-rickshaws, the scrapping of 15-year-old inefficient and polluting commercial vehicles and moving red category industries out of Kolkata Metropolitan Area has contributed to the improved energy efficiency in the economy," Joyashree Roy of JU Global Change Programme said.
It was not clear whether the present state government could afford the huge investment for the metropolis to check the carbon footprint, but it had made a beginning with an MoU between the UK and Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
UK Minister for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker signed the MoU on behalf of the UK government with the KMC to deliver a roadmap for low carbon and climate resilients Kolkata as part of its Vision 2020 plan, British Deputy High Commissioner to Eastern India Scott Furssedonn-Wood said.