The Gasping City explores the urban environment of colonial Calcutta from the perspective of science as ‘knowledge’, planning as ‘development’ and the response of the bhadralok and the bhadramahila to the development of the city. Beginning with the foundation of the Lottery Committee in 1817, the volume traces the urban expansion of Calcutta till the emergence of the Calcutta Improvement Trust in 1823. The research presented here, based on information from contemporary vernacular journals, to demonstrate the extent to which the colonized intelligentsia had internalized Western notions of health, sanitation and environment. The central question in this volume surrounds the contradiction in the trajectories of science and public health on one hand, and the growing environmental crises of colonial Calcutta on the other. This volume on urban ecology focuses on one of the environmental issues covered by the ‘Reconnecting with Nature’ series—flora, fauna, river systems, and urban ecology.
ContentsForeword by Ranjan ChakrabartiNote on the Series by Nupur DasguptaAcknowledgementsIntroduction1. Scientic Infrastructure and Urban Development in Calcutta2. Response of the Bhadralok3. Voice of the Bhadramahila Conclusion, Bibliography, Index.