Kolkata | Wikipedia audio article

Kolkata ([kolkata] (listen), also known as
Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.
Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of
the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre
of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India’s oldest operating port and its sole
major riverine port. The city is widely regarded as the “cultural capital” of India, and is
also nicknamed the “City of Joy”. In 2011, the city had a population of 4.5 million,
while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most
populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area’s economy
have ranged from $60 to $150 billion (GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity) making
it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.In the late
17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal
under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in
1690, the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified trading post.
Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, and the East India Company retook it
the following year. In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish Nizamat
(local rule), and assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule, and
later under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories
in India until 1911, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism
in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi. Calcutta was the centre for the
Indian independence movement; it remains a hotbed of contemporary state politics. Following
Indian independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of modern Indian education,
science, culture, and politics, suffered several decades of economic stagnation.
As a nucleus of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically
diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has local traditions in drama, art,
film, theatre, and literature. Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have
contributed to the arts, the sciences, and other areas. Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies
that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods (paras) and freestyle intellectual exchanges
(adda). West Bengal’s share of the Bengali film industry is based in the city, which
also hosts venerable cultural institutions of national importance, such as the Academy
of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum and the National
Library of India. Among professional scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural
Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the
Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological
Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India and the
Indian Public Health Association. Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises,
Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by giving importance to association football
and other sports.==Etymology==The word Kolkata derives from the Bengali
term Kôlikata (Bengali: কলিকাতা) [ˈkɔlikat̪a], the name of one of three
villages that predated the arrival of the British, in the area where the city eventually
was to be established; the other two villages were Sutanuti and Govindapur.There are several
explanations about the etymology of this name: The term Kolikata is thought to be a variation
of Kalikkhetrô [ˈkalikʰːet̪rɔ] (Bengali: কালীক্ষেত্র), meaning
“Field of [the goddess] Kali”. Similarly, it can be a variation of ‘Kalikshetra’ (Sanskrit:
कालीक्षेत्र, lit. “area of Goddess Kali”).
Another theory is that the name derives from Kalighat.
Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila (Bengali: কিলকিলা),
or “flat area”. The name may have its origin in the words
khal [ˈkʰal] (Bengali: খাল) meaning “canal”, followed by kaṭa [ˈkata] (Bengali:
কাটা), which may mean “dug”. According to another theory, the area specialised
in the production of quicklime or koli chun [ˈkɔlitɕun] (Bengali: কলি চুন)
and coir or kata [ˈkat̪a] (Bengali: কাতা); hence, it was called Kolikata [ˈkɔlikat̪a]
(Bengali: কলিকাতা).Although the city’s name has always been pronounced
Kolkata [ˈkolkat̪a] (Bengali: কলকাতা) or Kôlikata [ˈkɔlikat̪a] (Bengali: কলিকাতা)
in Bengali, the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name until 2001, when it was
changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation.
(It should be noted that “Calcutt” is an etymologically unrelated place name found at several locations
in England.)==
History==The discovery and archaeological study of
Chandraketugarh, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Kolkata, provide evidence that the region
in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia. Kolkata’s recorded
history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, which was
consolidating its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator who worked
for the company, was formerly credited as the founder of the city; In response to a
public petition, the Calcutta High Court ruled in 2003 that the city does not have a founder.
The area occupied by the present-day city encompassed three villages: Kalikata, Gobindapur,
and Sutanuti. Kalikata was a fishing village; Sutanuti was a riverside weavers’ village.
They were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor; the jagirdari (a land grant
bestowed by a king on his noblemen) taxation rights to the villages were held by the Sabarna
Roy Choudhury family of landowners, or zamindars. These rights were transferred to the East
India Company in 1698. In 1712, the British completed the construction
of Fort William, located on the east bank of the Hooghly River to protect their trading
factory. Facing frequent skirmishes with French forces, the British began to upgrade their
fortifications in 1756. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, condemned the militarisation
and tax evasion by the company. His warning went unheeded, and the Nawab attacked; he
captured Fort William which led to the killings of several East India company officials in
the Black Hole of Calcutta. A force of Company soldiers (sepoys) and British troops led by
Robert Clive recaptured the city the following year. Per the 1765 Treaty of Allahabad following
the battle of Buxar, East India company was appointed imperial tax collector of the Mughal
emperor in the province of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, while Mughal-appointed Nawabs continued
to rule the province. Declared a presidency city, Calcutta became the headquarters of
the East India Company by 1773. In 1793, ruling power of the Nawabs were abolished and East
India company took complete control of the city and the province. In the early 19th century,
the marshes surrounding the city were drained; the government area was laid out along the
banks of the Hooghly River. Richard Wellesley, Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort
William between 1797 and 1805, was largely responsible for the development of the city
and its public architecture. Throughout the late 18th and 19th century, the city was a
centre of the East India Company’s opium trade. By the 1850s, Calcutta had two areas: White
Town, which was primarily British and centred on Chowringhee and Dalhousie Square; and Black
Town, mainly Indian and centred on North Calcutta. The city underwent rapid industrial growth
starting in the early 1850s, especially in the textile and jute industries; this encouraged
British companies to massively invest in infrastructure projects, which included telegraph connections
and Howrah railway station. The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in
the emergence of a new babu class of urbane Indians, whose members were often bureaucrats,
professionals, newspaper readers, and Anglophiles; they usually belonged to upper-caste Hindu
communities. In the 19th century, the Bengal Renaissance brought about an increased sociocultural
sophistication among city denizens. In 1883, Calcutta was host to the first national conference
of the Indian National Association, the first avowed nationalist organisation in India. The partition of Bengal in 1905 along religious
lines led to mass protests, making Calcutta a less hospitable place for the British. The
capital was moved to New Delhi in 1911. Calcutta continued to be a centre for revolutionary
organisations associated with the Indian independence movement. The city and its port were bombed
several times by the Japanese between 1942 and 1944, during World War II. Coinciding
with the war, millions starved to death during the Bengal famine of 1943 due to a combination
of military, administrative, and natural factors. Demands for the creation of a Muslim state
led in 1946 to an episode of communal violence that killed over 4,000. The partition of India
led to further clashes and a demographic shift—many Muslims left for East Pakistan (present day
Bangladesh), while hundreds of thousands of Hindus fled into the city.During the 1960s
and 1970s, severe power shortages, strikes, and a violent Marxist–Maoist movement by
groups known as the Naxalites damaged much of the city’s infrastructure, resulting in
economic stagnation. The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 led to a massive influx of thousands
of refugees, many of them penniless, that strained Kolkata’s infrastructure. During
the mid-1980s, Mumbai (then called Bombay) overtook Kolkata as India’s most populous
city. In 1985, prime minister Rajiv Gandhi dubbed Kolkata a “dying city” in light of
its socio-political woes. In the period 1977–2011, West Bengal was governed from Kolkata by the
Left Front, which was dominated by the Communist Party of India (CPM). It was the world’s longest-serving
democratically elected communist government, during which Kolkata was a key base for Indian
communism. In the West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 2011, Left Front was defeated
by the Trinamool Congress. The city’s economic recovery gathered momentum after the 1990s,
when India began to institute pro-market reforms. Since 2000, the information technology (IT)
services sector has revitalised Kolkata’s stagnant economy. The city is also experiencing
marked growth in its manufacturing base.==Geography==Spread roughly north–south along the east
bank of the Hooghly River, Kolkata sits within the lower Ganges Delta of eastern India approximately
75 km (47 mi) west of the international border with Bangladesh; the city’s elevation is 1.5–9
m (5–30 ft). Much of the city was originally a wetland that was reclaimed over the decades
to accommodate a burgeoning population. The remaining undeveloped areas, known as the
East Kolkata Wetlands, were designated a “wetland of international importance” by the Ramsar
Convention (1975). As with most of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the soil and water are predominantly
alluvial in origin. Kolkata is located over the “Bengal basin”, a pericratonic tertiary
basin. Bengal basin comprises three structural units: shelf or platform in the west; central
hinge or shelf/slope break; and deep basinal part in the east and southeast. Kolkata is
located atop the western part of the hinge zone which is about 25 km (16 mi) wide at
a depth of about 45,000 m (148,000 ft) below the surface. The shelf and hinge zones have
many faults, among them some are active. Total thickness of sediment below Kolkata is nearly
7,500 m (24,600 ft) above the crystalline basement; of these the top 350–450 m (1,150–1,480
ft) is Quaternary, followed by 4,500–5,500 m (14,760–18,040 ft) of
Tertiary sediments, 500–700 m (1,640–2,300 ft) trap wash of Cretaceous trap and 600–800
m (1,970–2,620 ft) Permian-Carboniferous Gondwana rocks. The quaternary sediments consist
of clay, silt, and several grades of sand and gravel. These sediments are sandwiched
between two clay beds: the lower one at a depth of 250–650 m (820–2,130 ft); the
upper one 10–40 m (30–130 ft) in thickness. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards,
on a scale ranging from I to V in order of increasing susceptibility to earthquakes,
the city lies inside seismic zone III.===Urban structure===The Kolkata metropolitan area is spread over
1,886.67 km2 (728.45 sq mi) and comprises 3 municipal corporations (including Kolkata
Municipal Corporation), 39 local municipalities and 24 panchayat samitis, as of 2011. The
urban agglomeration encompassed 72 cities and 527 towns and villages, as of 2006. Suburban
areas in the Kolkata metropolitan area incorporate parts of the following districts: North 24
Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, and Nadia. Kolkata, which is under the jurisdiction
of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), has an area of 185 km2 (71 sq mi). The east–west
dimension of the city is comparatively narrow, stretching from the Hooghly River in the west
to roughly the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in the east—a span of 9–10 km (5.6–6.2
mi). The north–south distance is greater, and its axis is used to section the city into
North, Central, and South Kolkata. East Kolkata is also a section.====North Kolkata====
North Kolkata is the oldest part of the city. Characterised by 19th-century architecture,
dilapidated buildings, overpopulated slums, crowded bazaars, and narrow alleyways, it
includes areas such as Shyambazar, Hatibagan, Maniktala, Kankurgachi, Rajabazar, Shobhabazar,
Shyampukur, Sonagachi, Kumortuli, Bagbazar, Jorasanko, Chitpur, Pathuriaghata, Cossipore,
Kestopur, Sinthee, Belgachia, Jorabagan, and Dum Dum. The northern suburban areas like
Baranagar, Durganagar, Noapara, Dunlop, Dakshineswar, Nagerbazar, Belghoria, Agarpara, Sodepur,
Madhyamgram, Barasat, Birati, Khardah up to Barrackpur are also within the city of Kolkata
(as a metropolitan structure).====Central Kolkata====
Central Kolkata hosts the central business district. It contains B. B. D. Bagh, formerly
known as Dalhousie Square, and the Esplanade on its east; Strand Road is on its west. The
West Bengal Secretariat, General Post Office, Reserve Bank of India, High Court, Lalbazar
Police Headquarters, and several other government and private offices are located there. Another
business hub is the area south of Park Street, which comprises thoroughfares such as Chowringhee,
Camac Street, Wood Street, Loudon Street, Shakespeare Sarani, and A. J. C. Bose Road.
The Maidan is a large open field in the heart of the city that has been called the “lungs
of Kolkata” and accommodates sporting events and public meetings. The Victoria Memorial
and Kolkata Race Course are located at the southern end of the Maidan. Other important
areas of Central Kolkata are Park Circus, Burrabazar, College Street, Sealdah, Taltala,
Janbazar, Bowbazar, Entally, Chandni Chowk, Lalbazar, Chowringhee, Dharmatala, Tiretta
Bazar, Bow Barracks, Mullick Bazar, Park Circus, Babughat etc. Among the other parks are Central
Park in Bidhannagar and Millennium Park on Strand Road, along the Hooghly River.====South Kolkata====
South Kolkata developed after India gained independence in 1947; it includes upscale
neighbourhoods such as Ballygunge, Alipore, New Alipore, Lansdowne, Bhowanipore, Kalighat,
Dhakuria, Gariahat, Tollygunge, Naktala, Jodhpur Park, Lake Gardens, Golf Green, Jadavpur,
Garfa, Kalikapur, Haltu, Nandi Bagan, Santoshpur, Baghajatin, Ganguly Bagan, Garia, Ramgarh,
Raipur, Kanungo Park, Ranikuthi, Bikramgarh, Bijoygarh, Bansdroni and Kudghat. Outlying
areas of South Kolkata include Garden Reach, Khidirpur, Metiabruz, Taratala, Majerhat,
Budge Budge, Behala, Sarsuna, Barisha, Parnasree Pally, Thakurpukur, Maheshtala and Joka. The
southern suburban neighbourhoods like Mahamayatala, Pratapgarh, Kamalgazi, Narendrapur, Sonarpur,
Subhashgram and Baruipur are also within the city of Kolkata (as metropolitan, urban agglomeration
area). Fort William, on the western part of the city, houses the headquarters of the Eastern
Command of the Indian Army; its premises are under the jurisdiction of the army.====East Kolkata====
East Kolkata is largely composed of newly developed areas and neighbourhoods of Saltlake,
Rajarhat, Tangra, Topsia, Kasba, Anandapur, Mukundapur, Picnic Garden, Beleghata, Ultadanga,
Phoolbagan, Kaikhali, Lake Town, etc. Two planned townships in the greater Kolkata
region are Bidhannagar, also known as Salt Lake City and located north-east of the city;
and Rajarhat, also called New Town and sited east of Bidhannagar. In the 2000s, Sector
V in Bidhannagar developed into a business hub for information technology and telecommunication
companies. Both Bidhannagar and New Town are situated outside the Kolkata Municipal Corporation
limits, in their own municipalities.===Climate===
Kolkata is subject to a tropical wet-and-dry climate that is designated Aw under the Köppen
climate classification. According to a United Nations Development Programme report, its
wind and cyclone zone is “very high damage risk”.====Temperature====
The annual mean temperature is 26.8 °C (80.2 °F); monthly mean temperatures are 19–30
°C (66–86 °F). Summers (March–June) are hot and humid, with temperatures in the
low 30s Celsius; during dry spells, maximum temperatures often exceed 40 °C (104 °F)
in May and June. Winter lasts for roughly two-and-a-half months, with seasonal lows
dipping to 9–11 °C (48–52 °F) in December and January. May is the hottest month, with
daily temperatures ranging from 27–37 °C (81–99 °F); January, the coldest month,
has temperatures varying from 12–23 °C (54–73 °F). The highest recorded temperature
is 43.9 °C (111.0 °F), and the lowest is 5 °C (41 °F). The winter is mild and very
comfortable weather pertains over the city throughout this season.
Often, in April–June, the city is struck by heavy rains or dusty squalls that are followed
by thunderstorms or hailstorms, bringing cooling relief from the prevailing humidity. These
thunderstorms are convective in nature, and are known locally as kal bôishakhi (কালবৈশাখী),
or “Nor’westers” in English.====Rainfall====
Rains brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of the south-west summer monsoon lash Kolkata
between June and September, supplying it with most of its annual rainfall of about 1,850
mm (73 in). The highest monthly rainfall total occurs in July and August. In these months
often incessant rain for days brings live to a stall for the city dwellers. The city
receives 2,528 hours of sunshine per year, with maximum sunlight exposure occurring in
March. Kolkata has been hit by several cyclones; these include systems occurring in 1737 and
1864 that killed thousands.===Environmental issues===Pollution is a major concern in Kolkata. As
of 2008, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide annual concentration were within the national
ambient air quality standards of India, but respirable suspended particulate matter levels
were high, and on an increasing trend for five consecutive years, causing smog and haze.
Severe air pollution in the city has caused a rise in pollution-related respiratory ailments,
such as lung cancer.==Economy==Kolkata is the main commercial and financial
hub of East and North-East India and home to the Calcutta Stock Exchange. It is a major
commercial and military port, and is the only city in eastern India, apart from Bhubaneswar
to have an international airport. Once India’s leading city, Kolkata experienced a steady
economic decline in the decades following India’s independence due to steep population
increases and a rise in militant trade-unionism, which included frequent strikes that were
backed by left-wing parties. From the 1960s to the late 1990s, several factories were
closed and businesses relocated. The lack of capital and resources added to the depressed
state of the city’s economy and gave rise to an unwelcome sobriquet: the “dying city”.
The city’s fortunes improved after the Indian economy was liberalised in the 1990s and changes
in economic policy were enacted by the West Bengal state government.Flexible production
has been the norm in Kolkata, which has an informal sector that employs more than 40%
of the labour force. One unorganised group, roadside hawkers, generated business worth
₹ 8,772 crore (US$ 2 billion) in 2005. As of 2001, around 0.81% of the city’s workforce
was employed in the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, mining, etc.); 15.49% worked in
the secondary sector (industrial and manufacturing); and 83.69% worked in the tertiary sector (service
industries). As of 2003, the majority of households in slums were engaged in occupations belonging
to the informal sector; 36.5% were involved in servicing the urban middle class (as maids,
drivers, etc.), and 22.2% were casual labourers. About 34% of the available labour force in
Kolkata slums were unemployed. According to one estimate, almost a quarter of the population
live on less than 27 rupees (equivalent to 45 US cents) per day. As in many other Indian
cities, information technology became a high-growth sector in Kolkata starting in the late 1990s;
the city’s IT sector grew at 70% per annum—a rate that was twice the national average.
The 2000s saw a surge of investments in the real estate, infrastructure, retail, and hospitality
sectors; several large shopping malls and hotels were launched. As of 2010, Kolkata,
with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing power parity of 150 billion
dollars, ranked third among South Asian cities, after Mumbai and Delhi. Kolkata’s GDP in 2014
was Rs 1.84 trillion, according to a collaborative assessment by multiple universities and climate
agencies.Kolkata is home to many industrial units operated by large public- and private-sector
corporations; major sectors include steel, heavy engineering, mining, minerals, cement,
pharmaceuticals, food processing, agriculture, electronics, textiles, and jute.
Companies such as ITC Limited, CESC Limited, Exide Industries, Emami, Eveready Industries
India, Lux Industries, Rupa Company, Berger Paints, Birla Corporation and Britannia Industries
are all headquartered in the city. Philips India, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, Tata
Global Beverages, Tata Steel have their registered office and zonal headquarters in Kolkata.
Some of the oldest public sector companies are headquartered in the city such as the
Coal India Limited, National Insurance Company, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Tea
Board of India, Geological Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India, Botanical Survey
of India, Jute Corporation of India, National Test House, Hindustan Copper and the Ordnance
Factories Board of the Indian Ministry of Defence.
Kolkata hosts the headquarters of three major public-sector banks: Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank,
and the United Bank of India and India’s one of the newest private bank Bandhan Bank
Reserve Bank of India has its eastern zonal office in Kolkata and India Government Mint,
Kolkata is one of the four mints in India. Adoption of the “Look East” policy by the
Indian government; opening of Sikkim’s Nathu La mountain pass, which is located on the
border between India and China, to bi-directional international trade; and the interest shown
by Southeast Asian countries in expanding into Indian markets are factors that could
benefit Kolkata.==Demographics==The demonym for residents of Kolkata are Calcuttan
and Kolkatan. According to provisional results of the 2011 national census, Kolkata district,
which occupies an area of 185 km2 (71 sq mi), had a population of
4,486,679; its population density was 24,252/km2 (62,810/sq mi). This represents a decline
of 1.88% during the decade 2001–11. The sex ratio is 899 females per 1000 males—lower
than the national average. The ratio is depressed by the influx of working males from surrounding
rural areas, from the rest of West Bengal; these men commonly leave their families behind.
Kolkata’s literacy rate of 87.14% exceeds the all-India average of 74%. The final population
totals of census 2011 stated the population of city as 4,496,694. The urban agglomeration
had a population of 14,112,536 in 2011.Bengali Hindus form the majority of Kolkata’s population;
Marwaris, Biharis and Muslims compose large minorities. Among Kolkata’s smaller communities
are Chinese, Tamils, Nepalis, Odias, Telugus, Assamese, Gujaratis, Anglo-Indians, Armenians,
Greeks, Tibetans, Maharashtrians, Konkanis, Malayalees, Punjabis, and Parsis. The number
of Armenians, Greeks, Jews, and other foreign-origin groups declined during the 20th century. The
Jewish population of Kolkata was 5,000 during World War II, but declined after Indian independence
and the establishment of Israel; by 2013, there were 25 Jews in the city. India’s sole
Chinatown is in eastern Kolkata; once home to 20,000 ethnic Chinese, its population dropped
to around 2,000 as of 2009 as a result of multiple factors including repatriation and
denial of Indian citizenship following the 1962 Sino-Indian War, and immigration to foreign
countries for better economic opportunities. The Chinese community traditionally worked
in the local tanning industry and ran Chinese restaurants. Bengali, the official state language, is the
dominant language in Kolkata. English is also used, particularly by the white-collar workforce.
Hindi and Urdu are spoken by a sizeable minority. According to the 2011 census, 76.51% of the
population is Hindu, 20.60% Muslim, 0.88% Christian, and 0.47% Jain. The remainder of
the population includes Sikhs, Buddhists, and other religions which accounts for 0.45%
of the population; 1.09% did not state a religion in the census. Kolkata reported 67.6% of Special
and Local Laws crimes registered in 35 large Indian cities during 2004. The Kolkata police
district registered 15,510 Indian Penal Code cases in 2010, the 8th-highest total in the
country. In 2010, the crime rate was 117.3 per 100,000, below the national rate of 187.6;
it was the lowest rate among India’s largest cities.As of 2003, about one-third of the
population, or 1.5 million people, lived in 3,500 unregistered squatter-occupied and 2,011
registered slums. The authorised slums (with access to basic services like water, latrines,
trash removal by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation) can be broadly divided into two groups—bustees,
in which slum dwellers have some long term tenancy agreement with the landowners; and
udbastu colonies, settlements which had been leased to refugees from present-day Bangladesh
by the Government. The unauthorised slums (devoid of basic services provided by the
municipality) are occupied by squatters who started living on encroached lands—mainly
along canals, railway lines and roads. According to the 2005 National Family Health Survey,
around 14% of the households in Kolkata were poor, while 33% lived in slums, indicating
a substantial proportion of households in slum areas were better off economically than
the bottom quarter of urban households in terms of wealth status. Mother Teresa was
awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding and working with the Missionaries of Charity
in Kolkata—an organisation “whose primary task was to love and care for those persons
nobody was prepared to look after”.==Government and public services=====Civic administration===Kolkata is administered by several government
agencies. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, or KMC, oversees and manages the civic infrastructure
of the city’s 15 boroughs, which together encompass 141 wards. Each ward elects a councillor
to the KMC. Each borough has a committee of councillors, each of whom is elected to represent
a ward. By means of the borough committees, the corporation undertakes urban planning
and maintains roads, government-aided schools, hospitals, and municipal markets. As Kolkata’s
apex body, the corporation discharges its functions through the mayor-in-council, which
comprises a mayor, a deputy mayor, and ten other elected members of the KMC. The functions
of the KMC include water supply, drainage and sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management,
street lighting, and building regulation.The Kolkata Municipal Corporation was ranked 1st
out of 21 Cities for best governance & administrative practices in India in 2014. It scored 4.0
on 10 compared to the national average of 3.3.The Kolkata Port Trust, an agency of the
central government, manages the city’s river port. As of 2012, the All India Trinamool
Congress controls the KMC; the mayor is Firhad Hakim, while the deputy mayor is Atin Ghosh.
The city has an apolitical titular post, that of the Sheriff of Kolkata, which presides
over various city-related functions and conferences.Kolkata’s administrative agencies have areas of jurisdiction
that do not coincide. Listed in ascending order by area, they are: Kolkata district;
the Kolkata Police area and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area, or “Kolkata city”; and the
Kolkata metropolitan area, which is the city’s urban agglomeration. The agency overseeing
the latter, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, is responsible for the statutory
planning and development of greater Kolkata.As the seat of the Government of West Bengal,
Kolkata is home to not only the offices of the local governing agencies, but also the
West Bengal Legislative Assembly; the state secretariat, which is housed in the Writers’
Building; and the Calcutta High Court. Most government establishments and institutions
are housed in the centre of the city in B. B. D. Bagh (formerly known as Dalhousie Square).
The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India. It was preceded by the Supreme
Court of Judicature at Fort William which was established in 1774. The Calcutta High
Court has jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and the Union Territory of the Andaman
and Nicobar Islands. Kolkata has lower courts: the Court of Small Causes and the City Civil
Court decide civil matters; the Sessions Court rules in criminal cases. The Kolkata Police,
headed by a police commissioner, is overseen by the West Bengal Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Kolkata district elects two representatives to India’s lower house, the Lok Sabha, and
11 representatives to the state legislative assembly.===Utility services===The Kolkata Municipal Corporation supplies
the city with potable water that is sourced from the Hooghly River; most of it is treated
and purified at the Palta pumping station located in North 24 Parganas district. Roughly
95% of the 4,000 tonnes of refuse produced daily by the city is transported to the dumping
grounds in Dhapa, which is east of the town. To promote the recycling of garbage and sewer
water, agriculture is encouraged on the dumping grounds. Parts of the city lack proper sewerage,
leading to unsanitary methods of waste disposal.Electricity is supplied by the privately operated Calcutta
Electric Supply Corporation, or CESC, to the city proper; the West Bengal State Electricity
Board supplies it in the suburbs. Fire services are handled by the West Bengal Fire Service,
a state agency. As of 2012, the city had 16 fire stations.State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam
Limited, or BSNL, as well as private enterprises, among them Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Reliance,
Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Teleservices, Virgin Mobile, and MTS India, are the leading
telephone and cell phone service providers in the city. with Kolkata being the first
city in India to have cell phone and 4G connectivity, the GSM and CDMA cellular coverage is extensive.
As of 2010, Kolkata has 7 percent of the total Broadband internet consumers in India; BSNL,
VSNL, Tata Indicom, Sify, Airtel, and Reliance are among the main vendors.===Military and diplomatic establishments
===The Ordnance Factories Board of the Ministry
of Defence, the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers are headquartered in the city.
The Eastern Command of the Indian Army is based in the city.
Being one of India’s major city and the largest city in eastern and north-eastern India, Kolkata
hosts diplomatic missions of many countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada,
People’s Republic of China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Srilanka,
Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. The U.S Consulate in Kolkata
is the US Department of State’s second oldest Consulate and dates from 19 November 1792.==Transport==Public transport is provided by the Kolkata
Suburban Railway, the Kolkata Metro, trams, rickshaws, and buses. The suburban rail network
reaches the city’s distant suburbs. According to a 2013 survey conducted by the
International Association of Public Transport, in terms of a public transport system, Kolkata
ranks among the top of the six Indian cities surveyed. The Kolkata Metro, in operation
since 1984, is the oldest underground mass transit system in India. It spans the north–south
length of the city and covers a distance of 25.1 km (16 mi). As of 2009, five Metro rail
lines were under construction. Kolkata has four long-distance railway stations, located
at Howrah (the largest railway complex in India), Sealdah, Chitpur and Shalimar, which
connect Kolkata by rail to most cities in West Bengal and to other major cities in India.
The city serves as the headquarters of three railway Zone out of Seventeen of the Indian
Railways regional divisions—the Kolkata Metro Railways, Eastern Railway and the South-Eastern
Railway. Kolkata has rail and road connectivity with Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.Buses,
which are the most commonly used mode of transport, are run by government agencies and private
operators. Kolkata is the only Indian city with a tram network, which is operated by
the Calcutta Tramways Company. The slow-moving tram services are restricted to certain areas
of the city. Water-logging, caused by heavy rains that fall during the summer monsoon,
can interrupt transportation networks. Hired public conveyances include auto rickshaws,
which often ply specific routes, and yellow metered taxis. Almost all of Kolkata’s taxis
are antiquated Hindustan Ambassadors by make; newer air-conditioned radio taxis are in service
as well. In parts of the city, cycle rickshaws and hand-pulled rickshaws are patronised by
the public for short trips.Due to its diverse and abundant public transportation, privately
owned vehicles are not as common in Kolkata as in other major Indian cities. The city
has witnessed a steady increase in the number of registered vehicles; 2002 data showed an
increase of 44% over a period of seven years. As of 2004, after adjusting for population
density, the city’s “road space” was only 6% compared to 23% in Delhi and 17% in Mumbai.
The Kolkata Metro has somewhat eased traffic congestion, as has the addition of new roads
and flyovers. Agencies operating long-distance bus services include the Calcutta State Transport
Corporation, the South Bengal State Transport Corporation, the North Bengal State Transport
Corporation, and various private operators. The city’s main bus terminals are located
at Esplanade and Babughat. The Kolkata–Delhi and Kolkata–Chennai prongs of the Golden
Quadrilateral, and National Highway 34 start from the city.Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International
Airport, located in Dum Dum some 16 km (9.9 mi) north-east of the city centre, operates
domestic and international flights. In 2013, the airport was upgraded to handle increased
air traffic.The Port of Kolkata, established in 1870, is India’s oldest and the only major
river port. The Kolkata Port Trust manages docks in Kolkata and Haldia. The port hosts
passenger services to Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; freighter
service to ports throughout India and around the world is operated by the Shipping Corporation
of India. Ferry services connect Kolkata with its twin city of Howrah, located across the
Hooghly River.The route from North Bengal to Kolkata is set to become cheaper and more
efficient for people travelling by bus. Through April 2017 to March 2018, the North Bengal
State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) will be introducing a fleet of rocket buses equipped
with bio-toilets for the bus route.==Healthcare==As of 2011, the health care system in Kolkata
consists of 48 government hospitals, mostly under the Department of Health & Family Welfare,
Government of West Bengal, and 366 private medical establishments; these establishments
provide the city with 27,687 hospital beds. For every 10,000 people in the city, there
are 61.7 hospital beds, which is higher than the national average of 9 hospital beds per
10,000. Ten medical and dental colleges are located in the Kolkata metropolitan area which
act as tertiary referral hospitals in the state. The Calcutta Medical College, founded
in 1835, was the first institution in Asia to teach modern medicine. However, These facilities
are inadequate to meet the healthcare needs of the city. More than 78% in Kolkata prefer
the private medical sector over the public medical sector, due to the poor quality of
care, the lack of a nearby facility, and excessive waiting times at government facilities.According
to the Indian 2005 National Family Health Survey, only a small proportion of Kolkata
households were covered under any health scheme or health insurance. The total fertility rate
in Kolkata was 1.4, The lowest among the eight cities surveyed. In Kolkata, 77% of the married
women used contraceptives, which was the highest among the cities surveyed, but use of modern
contraceptive methods was the lowest (46%). The infant mortality rate in Kolkata was 41
per 1,000 live births, and the mortality rate for children under five was 49 per 1,000 live
births.Among the surveyed cities, Kolkata stood second (5%) for children who had not
had any vaccinations under the Universal Immunization Programme as of 2005. Kolkata ranked second
with access to an anganwadi centre under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
programme for 57% of the children between 0 and 71 months. The proportion of malnourished,
anaemic and underweight children in Kolkata was less in comparison to other surveyed cities.About
18% of the men and 30% of the women in Kolkata are obese—the majority of them belonging
to the non-poor strata of society. In 2005, Kolkata had the highest percentage (55%) among
the surveyed cities of anaemic women, while 20% of the men in Kolkata were anaemic. Diseases
like diabetes, asthma, goitre and other thyroid disorders were found in large numbers of people.
Tropical diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya are prevalent in Kolkata, though
their incidence is decreasing. Kolkata is one of the districts in India with a high
number of people with AIDS; it has been designated a district prone to high risk.As of 2014,
because of higher air pollution, the life expectancy of a person born in the city is
four years fewer than in the suburbs.==Education==Kolkata’s schools are run by the state government
or private organisations, many of which are religious. Bengali and English are the primary
languages of instruction; Urdu and Hindi are also used, particularly in central Kolkata.
Schools in Kolkata follow the “10+2+3” plan. After completing their secondary education,
students typically enroll in schools that have a higher secondary facility and are affiliated
with the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, the ICSE, or the CBSE. They usually
choose a focus on liberal arts, business, or science. Vocational programs are also available.
Some Kolkata schools, for example La Martiniere Calcutta, Calcutta Boys’ School, St. James’
School (Kolkata), St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, and Loreto House, have been ranked
amongst the best schools in the country. As of 2010, the Kolkata urban agglomeration is
home to 14 universities run by the state government. The colleges are each affiliated with a university
or institution based either in Kolkata or elsewhere in India. Aliah University which
was founded in 1780 as Mohammedan College of Calcutta is the oldest post-secondary educational
institution of the city. The University of Calcutta, founded in 1857, is the first modern
university in South Asia. Presidency College, Kolkata (formerly Hindu College between 1817
and 1855), founded in 1855, was one of the oldest and most eminent colleges in India.
It was affiliated with the University of Calcutta until 2010 when it was converted to Presidency
University, Kolkata in 2010. Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) is the second
oldest engineering institution of the country located in Howrah. An Institute of National
Importance, BESU was converted to India’s first IIEST. Jadavpur University is known
for its arts, science, and engineering faculties. The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta,
which was the first of the Indian Institutes of Management, was established in 1961 at
Joka, a locality in the south-western suburbs. Kolkata also houses the prestigious Indian
Institute of Foreign Trade, which was started here in the year 2006. The West Bengal National
University of Juridical Sciences is one of India’s autonomous law schools, and the Indian
Statistical Institute is a public research institute and university. State owned Maulana
Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, West Bengal (MAKAUT, WB), formerly West Bengal
University of Technology (WBUT) is the largest Technological University in terms of student
enrollment and number of Institutions affiliated by it. Private institutions include the Ramakrishna
Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute and University of Engineering & Management
(UEM). Notable scholars who were born, worked or
studied in Kolkata include physicists Satyendra Nath Bose, Meghnad Saha, and Jagadish Chandra
Bose; chemist Prafulla Chandra Roy; statisticians Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and Anil Kumar
Gain; physician Upendranath Brahmachari; educator Ashutosh Mukherjee; and Nobel laureates Rabindranath
Tagore, C. V. Raman, and Amartya Sen.Kolkata houses many premier research institutes like
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Indian Institute of Chemical
Biology (IICB), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bose Institute,
Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), All India Institute of Hygiene and Public
Health, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), S.N. Bose National Centre
for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management
(IISWBM), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata, Variable
Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) and Indian Centre for Space Physics. Nobel laureate Sir
C. V. Raman did his groundbreaking work in Raman effect in IACS.==Culture==Kolkata is known for its literary, artistic,
and revolutionary heritage; as the former capital of India, it was the birthplace of
modern Indian literary and artistic thought. Kolkata has been called the “City of Furious,
Creative Energy” as well as the “cultural [or literary] capital of India”. The presence
of paras, which are neighbourhoods that possess a strong sense of community, is characteristic
of the city. Typically, each para has its own community club and, on occasion, a playing
field. Residents engage in addas, or leisurely chats, that often take the form of freestyle
intellectual conversation. The city has a tradition of political graffiti depicting
everything from outrageous slander to witty banter and limericks, caricatures, and propaganda.Kolkata
has many buildings adorned with Indo-Islamic and Indo-Saracenic architectural motifs. Several
well-maintained major buildings from the colonial period have been declared “heritage structures”;
others are in various stages of decay. Established in 1814 as the nation’s oldest museum, the
Indian Museum houses large collections that showcase Indian natural history and Indian
art. Marble Palace is a classic example of a European mansion that was built in the city.
The Victoria Memorial, a place of interest in Kolkata, has a museum documenting the city’s
history. The National Library of India is the leading public library in the country
while Science City is the largest science centre in the Indian subcontinent.The popularity
of commercial theatres in the city has declined since the 1980s. Group theatres of Kolkata,
a cultural movement that started in the 1940s contrasting with the then-popular commercial
theatres, are theatres that are not professional or commercial, and are centres of various
experiments in theme, content, and production; group theatres use the proscenium stage to
highlight socially relevant messages. Chitpur locality of the city houses multiple production
companies of jatra, a tradition of folk drama popular in rural Bengal. Kolkata is the home
of the Bengali cinema industry, dubbed “Tollywood” for Tollygunj, where most of the state’s film
studios are located. Its long tradition of art films includes globally acclaimed film
directors such as Academy Award-winning director Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Tapan
Sinha, and contemporary directors such as Aparna Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Goutam Ghose
and Rituparno Ghosh.During the 19th and 20th centuries, Bengali literature was modernised
through the works of authors such as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay,
Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
Coupled with social reforms led by Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, and others, this constituted
a major part of the Bengal Renaissance. The middle and latter parts of the 20th century
witnessed the arrival of post-modernism, as well as literary movements such as those espoused
by the Kallol movement, hungryalists and the little magazines. Large majority of publishers
of the city is concentrated in and around College Street, “… a half-mile of bookshops
and bookstalls spilling over onto the pavement”, selling new and used books.Kalighat painting
originated in 19th century Kolkata as a local style that reflected a variety of themes including
mythology and quotidian life. The Government College of Art and Craft, founded in 1864,
has been the cradle as well as workplace of eminent artists including Abanindranath Tagore,
Jamini Roy, and Nandalal Bose. The art college was the birthplace of the Bengal school of
art that arose as an avant garde and nationalist movement reacting against the prevalent academic
art styles in the early 20th century. The Academy of Fine Arts and other art galleries
hold regular art exhibitions. The city is recognised for its appreciation of Rabindra
sangeet (songs written by Rabindranath Tagore) and Indian classical music, with important
concerts and recitals, such as Dover Lane Music Conference, being held throughout the
year; Bengali popular music, including baul folk ballads, kirtans, and Gajan festival
music; and modern music, including Bengali-language adhunik songs. Since the early 1990s, new
genres have emerged, including one comprising alternative folk–rock Bengali bands. Another
new style, jibonmukhi gaan (“songs about life”), is based on realism. Key elements of Kolkata’s
cuisine include rice and a fish curry known as machher jhol, which can be accompanied
by desserts such as roshogolla, sandesh, and a sweet yoghurt known as mishti dohi. Bengal’s
large repertoire of seafood dishes includes various preparations of ilish, a fish that
is a favourite among Calcuttans. Street foods such as beguni (fried battered eggplant slices),
kati roll (flatbread roll with vegetable or chicken, mutton, or egg stuffing), phuchka
(a deep-fried crêpe with tamarind sauce) and Indian Chinese cuisine from Chinatown
are popular.Though Bengali women traditionally wear the sari, the shalwar kameez and Western
attire is gaining acceptance among younger women. Western-style dress has greater acceptance
among men, although the traditional dhoti and kurta are seen during festivals. Durga
Puja, held in September–October, is Kolkata’s most important and largest festival; it is
an occasion for glamorous celebrations and artistic decorations. The Bengali New Year,
known as Poila Boishak, as well as the harvest festival of Poush Parbon are among the city’s
other festivals; also celebrated are Kali Puja, Diwali, Holi, Jagaddhatri Puja, Saraswati
Puja, Rathayatra, Janmashtami, Maha Shivratri, Vishwakarma Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Ganesh Chathurthi,
Makar Sankranti, Gajan, Kalpataru Day, Bhai Phonta, Maghotsab, Eid, Muharram, Christmas,
Buddha Purnima and Mahavir Jayanti. Cultural events include the Rabindra Jayanti, Independence
Day(15 August), Republic Day(26 January), Kolkata Book Fair, the Dover Lane Music Festival,
the Kolkata Film Festival, Nandikar’s National Theatre Festival, Statesman Vintage & Classic
Car Rally and Gandhi Jayanti.==Media==The first newspaper in India, the Bengal Gazette
started publishing from the city in 1780. Among Kolkata’s widely circulated Bengali-language
newspapers are Anandabazar Patrika, Bartaman, Sangbad Pratidin, Aajkaal, Dainik Statesman
and Ganashakti. The Statesman and The Telegraph are two major English-language newspapers
that are produced and published from Kolkata. Other popular English-language newspapers
published and sold in Kolkata include The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu,
The Indian Express, and the Asian Age. As the largest trading centre in East India,
Kolkata has several high-circulation financial dailies, including The Economic Times, The
Financial Express, Business Line, and Business Standard. Vernacular newspapers, such as those
in the Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Odia, Punjabi, and Chinese languages, are read by minorities.
Major periodicals based in Kolkata include Desh, Sananda, Saptahik Bartaman, Unish-Kuri,
Anandalok, and Anandamela. Historically, Kolkata has been the centre of the Bengali little
magazine movement.All India Radio, the national state-owned radio broadcaster, airs several
AM radio stations in the city. Kolkata has 12 local radio stations broadcasting on FM,
including two from AIR. India’s state-owned television broadcaster, Doordarshan, provides
two free-to-air terrestrial channels, while a mix of Bengali, Hindi, English, and other
regional channels are accessible via cable subscription, direct-broadcast satellite services,
or internet-based television. Bengali-language 24-hour television news channels include ABP
Ananda, Tara Newz, Kolkata TV, 24 Ghanta, News Time and Channel 10.==Sports==
The most popular sports in Kolkata are football and cricket. Unlike most parts of India, the
residents show significant passion for football. The city is home to top national football
clubs such as Mohun Bagan A.C., East Bengal F.C., Prayag United S.C., and the Mohammedan
Sporting Club. Calcutta Football League, which was started in 1898, is the oldest football
league in Asia. Mohun Bagan A.C., one of the oldest football clubs in Asia, is the only
organisation to be dubbed a “National Club of India”. Football matches between Mohun
Bagan and East Bengal, dubbed as the Kolkata derby, witness large audience attendance and
rivalry between patrons. As in the rest of India, cricket is popular
in Kolkata and is played on grounds and in streets throughout the city. Kolkata has the
Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders; the Cricket Association of Bengal,
which regulates cricket in West Bengal, is also based in the city. Kolkata also has an
Indian Super League franchise known as Atlético de Kolkata. Tournaments, especially those
involving cricket, football, badminton, and carrom, are regularly organised on an inter-locality
or inter-club basis. The Maidan, a vast field that serves as the city’s largest park, hosts
several minor football and cricket clubs and coaching institutes.Eden Gardens, which has
a capacity of 68,000 as of 2017, hosted the final match of the 1987 Cricket World Cup.
It is home to the Bengal cricket team and the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The multi-use Salt Lake Stadium, also known as Yuva Bharati Krirangan, is India’s largest
stadium by seating capacity. Most matches of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup were played
in the Salt Lake Stadium including both Semi-Final matches and the Final match. Kolkata also
accounted for 45% of total attendance in 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup with an average of 55,345
spectators. The Calcutta Cricket and Football Club is the second-oldest cricket club in
the world.Kolkata’s Netaji Indoor Stadium served as host of the 1981 Asian Basketball
Championship, where India’s national basketball team finished 5th, ahead of teams that belong
to Asia’s basketball elite, such as Iran. The city has three 18-hole golf courses. The
oldest is at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, the first golf club built outside the United
Kingdom. The other two are located at the Tollygunge Club and at Fort William. The Royal
Calcutta Turf Club hosts horse racing and polo matches. The Calcutta Polo Club is considered
the oldest extant polo club in the world. The Calcutta Racket Club is a squash and racquet
club in Kolkata. It was founded in 1793, making it one of the oldest rackets clubs in the
world, and the first in the Indian subcontinent. The Calcutta South Club is a venue for national
and international tennis tournaments; it held the first grass-court national championship
in 1946. In the period 2005–2007, Sunfeast Open, a tier-III tournament on the Women’s
Tennis Association circuit, was held in the Netaji Indoor Stadium; it has since been discontinued.The
Calcutta Rowing Club hosts rowing heats and training events. Kolkata, considered the leading
centre of rugby union in India, gives its name to the oldest international tournament
in rugby union, the Calcutta Cup. The Automobile Association of Eastern India, established
in 1904, and the Bengal Motor Sports Club are involved in promoting motor sports and
car rallies in Kolkata and West Bengal. The Beighton Cup, an event organised by the Bengal
Hockey Association and first played in 1895, is India’s oldest field hockey tournament;
it is usually held on the Mohun Bagan Ground of the Maidan. Athletes from Kolkata include
Sourav Ganguly and Pankaj Roy, who are former captains of the Indian national cricket team;
Olympic tennis bronze medallist Leander Paes, golfer Arjun Atwal, and former footballers
Sailen Manna, Chuni Goswami, P. K. Banerjee, and Subrata Bhattacharya.==Sister cities==Bangladesh: Dhaka
China: Kunming (October 2013) Greece: Thessaloniki (21 January 2005)
Italy: Naples Pakistan: Karachi
South Korea: Incheon Ukraine: Odessa
United States: Jersey City
Long Beach Dallas==See also==
List of people from Kolkata West Bengal

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