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Notes on the Geography of Northern India: Calcutta's Periphery: Photo 3

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Yes, a subway: India's first.  Since 1995, it has operated on a 10-mile, north-south route; an additional 50 miles await construction.  Why did subways come first to Calcutta?  The answer may be that the city had the country's worst road congestion.  Why?  Not because it had the most vehicles but because roads covered less than five percent of the city's surface area; in Delhi, by contrast, roads covered 25%.  Calcutta's congestion was so bad that many one-way streets began changing direction at different times of day; even so, taxis coming in from the airport avoided bottlenecks by using lanes so narrow that passengers couldn't believe they were on the way to the city center.

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