Millennium Post

KMC to go for more fountains in city parks in bid to curb air pollution

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will install fountains in parks wherever there will be availability of space. The move is aimed at reducing air pollution as the suspended carbon particles that get circulated in air can be settled with the water of the fountains.

"Curbing air pollution in the city is a major challenge and we are taking some significant measures to bring down pollution. We are planting neem and other fruit trees which can tolerate very high levels of pollution and have the capacity to recover even if most of its foliage is dropped. We are also setting up fountains in places wherever there is space," said Mayor Firhad Hakim, while kicking off Van Mahotsav on behalf of KMC.

Hakim, along with Member, Mayor-in-Council (Parks & Gardens) Debasish Kumar planted some trees at Mohor Kunja, as part of the celebration. "We are planting weeping deodar at the side of the road and have undertaken massive plantation of neem trees in parks as the plant accumulates relatively higher quantities of lead and has relatively high efficiency of carbon dioxide fixation," he added.

It may be mentioned that a few months ago, Municipal Commissioner Khalil Ahmed had written to Kolkata Port Trust to hand over land in Alipore area beside the boat canal for urban forestry. The Port authorities have informed the KMC that they will take up plantation on their own.

"We have made a guideline for urban forestry and if any agency takes it up as per these guidelines, we have no qualms. We want industries to take up urban forestry as part of their CSR activities. If they plant some greenery in vacant areas inside their office premises, it will be welcomed by us," Hakim said.

The KMC has distributed saplings as per demand of the respective councillors for massive plantation in the city to mark Van Mahotsav, which will continue till July 20. A total of 1,000 saplings have been given out, among which councillors of wards 124, 129 and 65 have taken 100 each.

It may be mentioned that soon after taking over as the Mayor of Kolkata a few months ago, Firhad Hakim has formed a separate department titled Urban Forestry and have laid a lot of emphasis on preserving and augmenting the green cover in the city.

An expert committee has already been formed with Kumar as the chairman. Apart from botanists of the KMC, the committee has also roped in environment experts from Calcutta University and Jadavpur University, as well as environment activists.

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