Millennium Post

Electric ovens to replace earthen ones to bring down pollution

Kolkata: The state Municipal Affairs department has informed the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) that earthen ovens used for tandoor food and for ironing purposes will be replaced by electric ovens to curb pollution.

"We will be providing electric chullahs to the food vendors and those who are associated with ironing of clothes will be given electric irons so that they can replace their earthen ovens. We are working on the subsidy model that can be provided so that they can shift to the electric ones. We are expecting to roll out this plan from the ongoing financial year," said Subrata Gupta, Principal Secretary of state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department while addressing a national workshop on Need for Urban Planning to Mitigate Air Pollution hosted jointly by the Bengal chapter of the Institute of Town Planners (ITPI) and department of Architecture and Regional Planning of IIT Kharagpur.

According to Gupta, the state government has already carried out a survey in the city and its adjoining areas and have found that there are 28,000 stalls that use such earthen ovens for cooking and ironing of clothes. According to a study by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), one third of the air pollution in the city results from the indiscriminate use of earthen ovens.

Gupta also added that electric buses are being rolled out in phases and in a few months there will be 80 such buses in the city. New Town has five electric buses running and another five are in the process of taking to the roads. "We are trying to involve school students to create awareness about the dangers of air pollution," said Dipankar Sinha, chairman ITPI, Bengal Regional Chapter.

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