City homes may soon get piped gas
City households may soon have access to piped natural gas (PNG). The state government will tie up with Gas Authorities of India Limited (GAIL) to provide PNG to city homes and CNG buses in Kolkata and Howrah. State environment minister Sovan Chatterjee made this announcement while inaugurating a workshop on 'Air Quality Improvement Action Plan' in Salt Lake on Thursday.
"A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the state government and GAIL in near future to use CNG to cut down the level of pollution in the city. There is also a plan to provide PNG to the households in the city. The process of laying the pipeline will begin soon. The transport department will also be encouraged to use CNG in buses and taxis," Chatterjee said.
The minister said that it would take a while to set up long distance pipeline to supply gas to households. He also listed the initiatives taken by the state environment department to bring down pollution in the city. Various devices have been installed to monitor the air quality in Kolkata and Howrah.
CNG bus services have successfully rolled out in Asansol.
A senior official of the department said that it would prove beneficial to the city residents. Supplying gas to households through the pipeline would be a safer alternative to LPG cylinders. The gas will reach homes through pipelines once the new system is in place. There are many gas transportation companies. GAIL would supply natural gas to the Greater Calcutta Gas Supply Corporation.
The poor air quality in the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah is of great concern to the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB). Major sources of pollutants are mainly automobile, tailpipe emission, dust particles coming out of the construction sector, burning of fossil fuels and waste burning. The deteriorating air quality has serious health implications such as respiratory distress, asthma and other serious ailments.
WBPCB in association with the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) initiated a Source Appointment Study for the twin cities which will take two years to complete. This will also help the WBPCB to formulate an action plan to control air pollution. Arnab Roy, Principal Secretary of the state environment department, said that the workshop has been organised to improve the air quality in Kolkata and Howrah.