Kolkata ‘Clean City’ campaign

Kolkata ‘Clean City’ campaign

August 1, 2014

Scientific waste management in Kolkata entered a new era with the introduction of solid waste compactor stations and modern portable compactors by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in December of 2012. The Modern Scientific Waste Compactor Station, as it is called, is an eco-friendly system of garbage handling and disposal, wherein the garbage is directly unloaded from a garbage truck into a bin cart and from there into the compactor for automatic compaction; the water content is drained out through a proper drainage system. The compaction operations take place all through the day, from early morning to evening. During the night, specially fitted trucks directly lift the compactor chambers from inside the machines and take them to the Dhapa dumping ground for disposing off the solidified (compacted) waste, and then bring the empty chambers back to the compactor station.

This system of garbage disposal has many advantages, like

  • Preventing birds and animals from spilling the garbage all around
  • Preventing rain water from soaking and further decomposing the garbage
  • Preventing rag pickers from accessing the garbage
  • Enabling the processing and transportation of more garbage due to its becoming compacted
  • Enabling odourless transportation to Dhapa, as the garbage is not transported in open trucks
  • Preventing the spilling of garbage during transportation
  • Preventing the seeping of water during transportation as the compaction chambers are water-tight
  • Leading to the eradication of open vats
  • Facilitating night transportation of solid waste

Kolkata My City – Clean City

Gradually all the waste dumping stations of KMC are being transformed into compactor stations. To popularise this eco-friendly initiative, KMC has felt the need to start an awareness campaign. The result is the ‘Clean City’ initiative, which is a part of the broader ‘Kolkata My City’ campaign. The Kolkata My City campaign aims to intimate the city-dwellers about the good initiatives the city civic body is taking up, as well as to bring about a general positive vibe among Kolkatans about their city.

The Clean City initiative started was inaugurated on July 9, at the compactor station in DN Mitra Square in Bhawanipore area. The initiative is framed by a beautiful logo: the words ‘Clean City’ in clean font in white on a blue background. To emphasise the ‘clean’ aspect, a few sparklers have been added inside the two Cs, as well as the dot of ‘i’. ‘Modern Scientific Waste Compactor Station’, the full name of the compactor system, appears below ‘Clean City’. ‘Clean City’' aspires to communicate the key consumer benefit behind the compactor initiative.

The inauguration poster the ‘Clean City’ campaign

Kolkata My City

Kolkata My City is an integrated campaign by Kolkata Municipal Corporation to bring about awareness about the positive aspects of the city. Through the awareness, it is also an effort to involve the citizens to come forward and contribute in their own small ways to making Kolkata a better city. It is not a co-incidence that the initials of both are ‘KMC’. This is a happy joining of hands, so to say.

A grand project needs a grand visual, and the first visual anyone would connect with a brand or project is the logo. In fact, the idea is to make ‘Kolkata My City’ into a brand, something people not just of Kolkata, but anywhere would recognise; something on the lines of the ‘I Love New York’ campaign.

‘I Love New York’ is an advertising campaign running since 1977 to promote tourism in New York City, and later to promote New York State as well. The trademarked logo, owned by New York State Empire State Development, appears in souvenir shops and brochures throughout the state, some licensed, many not. The song ‘I Love New York’ is the state song of New York. The logo was designed by Milton Glaser in 1977.

The logo of ‘I Love New York’

In fact, according to the creator of the Kolkata My City campaign logo, well-known advertising personality, Anurag Hira, this analogy was precisely the thought which came to his mind. The result is an amazingly eye-catching variation of the Bengali letter ‘kaw’ (ক) in light blue, on a white background. The clever variation lies in making the triangular body of the letter into a heart-shaped figure facing sideways. The heart reflects the very nature of the city, something which makes it distinct: that Kolkata draws everyone to its friendly, heart-warming ways in a way that no other city in India does. Of course, the citizens are the ones responsible for creating this warmth. And scientific studies have proved that blue in any shade is associated with a whole lot of positive feelings – harmony, faithfulness, confidence, imagination. A 2009 study by the University of British Columbia has proved that through associations with sky, ocean and water, in general, most people associate blue with openness, peace and tranquility. 

The wonderful stylization of the letter ‘kaw’ enables someone even without any knowledge of Bengali to connect to the logo, and through it, to Kolkata, or the ‘City of Joy’, as it is often referred to. 


Written by Anushtup Haldar for Team M3.tv

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