How Expensive is the Decay of East Kolkata Wetlands? An Estimation of Opportunity Cost for Kolkata
More than 80% of Kolkata’s sewage is naturally getting purified in East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) where wastewater treatment and fishery practices are integrated through a rare correspondence of stages generating double dividend. The city of Kolkata enjoys a subsidized service of wastewater treatment as well as low-cost supply chain of fresh fish, vegetables, etc., and EKW is enjoying traditional livelihood options through wise-use practices. However, this delicately balanced ecosystem is threatened by the aggressive eastbound urban growth of the city. A significant change has been observed in the pattern of land use in the buffer area. To protect the wise-use of the wetland any further change in the pattern of land use in the core area has been legally prohibited. In spite of that a tendency towards vocation switching is noted all over the place. If this propensity continues and especially, if fisheries stop dominating the livelihood option of the local residents, then that will not only affect the low-cost supply chain available to the city dwellers, but also will challenge continuity of the waste management practice as well. The paper tried to estimate this opportunity cost for Kolkata.
KeywordsSewage management Wastewater aquaculture Land-use change Vocational transition EKW Opportunity cost of STP
JEL ClassificationD61 Q15 Q53 Q57 R14
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