1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. India
  4. Ramsar Sites
  5. East Calcutta Wetlands

East Calcutta Wetlands

Details of the Indian Ramsar Site: East Calcutta Wetlands
Site NameEast Calcutta Wetlands
StateWest Bengal
Ramsar Site Number1208
Ramsar Designation Date19 Aug 2002
Area12500 hectares
CategoriesHuman-made wetland
Wastewater treatment area
Marine or coastal wetland
min / max
2 / 2
Listed in Montreux Record?No
Spans over more than one country?No
World-renowned as a model of a multiple use wetland, the site's resource recovery systems, developed by local people through the ages, have saved the city of Calcutta from the costs of constructing and maintaining waste water treatment plants. The wetland forms an urban facility for treating the city's waste water and utilizing the treated water for pisciculture and agriculture, through the recovery of nutrients in an efficient manner - the water flows through fish ponds covering about 4,000 ha, and the ponds act as solar reactors and complete most of their bio-chemical reactions with the help of solar energy. Thus the system is described as "one of the rare examples of environmental protection and development management where a complex ecological process has been adopted by the local farmers for mastering the resource recovery activities" (RIS). The wetland provides about 150 tons of fresh vegetables daily, as well as some 10,500 tons of table fish per year, the latter providing livelihoods for about 50,000 people directly and as many again indirectly. The fish ponds are mostly operated by worker cooperatives, in some cases in legal associations and in others in cooperative groups whose tenurial rights are under legal challenge. A potential threat is seen in recent unauthorized use of the waste water outfall channels by industries which add metals to the canal sludge and threaten the edible quality of the fish and vegetables.
Human settlements (non agricultural), Housing and urban areas, Commercial and industrial areas, Pollution, Industrial and military effluents, Natural system modifications, Vegetation clearance/ land conversion
Last updated on 12 April 2021 06:26:30
Dashamlav Logo ImageDashamlav