Energy Efficiency

As with most Indian cities, Kolkata has grown significantly in recent times and with this urban growth has come a correspondingly growth in the demand for KMC’s services. This demand has come from increases in the fixed, as well as the floating population and as a result the city’s expenditure on the services it provides has increased dramatically, even though this can be partially offset by rising tariffs. The current pressure on the city’s infrastructure and service capacities will only increase, especially in consideration of the proposed plans to expand KMC by merging it with neighbouring municipalities – Salt Lake and South Dum Dum municipalities to the north-east and Joka to the south-west. As a result and assuming that there is no change in modus operandi, the indirect energy consumption of KMC, which leads to direct carbon emissions due to the consumption of electricity, can only increase.

During 2013-14, GHG intensity from KMC services has been estimated at 1.41-tCO2/INR (Lakh) of municipal expenditure. This means that for each INR 1Lakh spend by KMC, 1.41 tCO2emissions is generated.


Current Situation in Kolkata

Present Consumption of Electricity and Tariff Rates

About 18% of KMC’s total expenditure is spent on electricity; energy efficiency has become a necessity.
The electricity tariff applied to the municipality by the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation’s (CESC) tariff structure is equivalent to the tariff applied to industry. According to the proposed 2015-16 tariff structure, the municipal tariff varies from INR 6.38/kWh to INR 6.93/kWh whilst the industrial tariff ranges from INR 6.48/kWh to INR 7.78/kWh. CESC tariffs for municipal services have increased by about 47-48% over the last four years for all major services. While becoming more energy efficient is certainly a way for KMC to reduce their electricity cost, it would also be prudent for them to look at alternate sources of electricity, like renewables, in order to reduce their dependence on CESC and its unfavourable tariff structure.


Water Supply Scenario in Kolkata

The Hooghly River and other surface water sources (82.7%) are the primary source for municipal water supply with some reliance on ground water. Surface water accounts for 1161 million litres per day (mld) of water supply while ground water accounts for 305.2 mld.

Water supply in the city is from three main sources.
  • Underground pipeline network which mainly provides water from the major pumping stations.
  • Roadside public bore wells that KMC has dug.
  • Innumerable private bore wells installed by residents of residential complexes.

Challenges across Key Sectors

Being in the Gangetic delta, availability of surface or ground water is not a major challenge. However, the city does not have enough resources to adequately treat the water or to maintain and manage the distribution system. Currently, the city is witnessing a growth in the real estate sector, which is contributing to a depletion of ground water resources.

Most commercial and residential complexes get their water supply from bore wells, which in turn contributes to ecological vulnerability. As per KMC estimates, 97.46% of distributed water is non-revenue generating and 35% of the water supplied by KMC is unaccounted. ADB’s pilot study under KEIP in wards 1 to 6 indicates a 65% water loss in these wards. The water supplied is wasted due to leakages in the worn-out pipes, wastage by consumers, and at public taps and stand posts. Kolkata has around 17,000 stand posts and most of the water that these outlets supply is wasted. However, there is currently no viable alternative, as these stand posts are the only source of water for the poor.

featured image