Improving Urban Air Quality in India: Lessons from the Kolkata Clean Air Regulations of 2009

  • Blog Post Date 01 April, 2011
  • IGC Research on India
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Parikshit Ghosh

Editor-in-Chief, I4I; Delhi School of Economics


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Rohini Somanathan

Delhi School of Economics


This paper analyses the change in the economic returns of auto-rickshaw drivers in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), roughly one year after they were required to shift to using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in 2009 as per the Kolkata clean air regulations. The authors focus not only on the environmental impact of the regulations but also on its distributive consequences, especially the cost and profit flows of the affected segments of the transport industry. Based on a survey of 100 auto-rickshaw drivers at 12 gas filling stations across Kolkata in June 2010, they find that operating profits declined for many auto-drivers when they were forced to switch to autos fueled by LPG.

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