Millennium Post

WBPCB-NEERI study to map pollution level of Kolkata-Howrah

The West Bengal Pollution Control Board has initiated a joint study to map the pollution level of the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah and chalk out an action plan.

The study will be done in collaboration with the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

"The study, which may take two years to complete, shall come up with a clear identification of pollution potential and help us to formulate an action plan to curb air pollution," a WBPCB official said. NEERI director Rakesh Kumar said, the source of pollutants in different areas will be evaluated in the study, which will take about two years time.

"The air quality of the area is determined through monitoring network of 19 ambient air quality monitoring stations in Kolkata and six stations in Howrah. The report of these air quality monitoring stations, analysed over a period of four years, shows that both cities remain non-compliant with respect to extremely vulnerable air pollutants like PM-10 and PM-2.5 for more than five months in a year, especially during winter time," the WBPCB official said quoting a recent survey.

The other parameters, in which the twin cities are also non-compliant, included nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a significant air pollutant from automobile tail pipe emission and industrial high temperature, the official said quoting the survey. The major sources of these pollutants are mainly automobile tail pipe emission, dust particles coming out of the construction sector, burning of fossil fuels, waste burning and re-suspension of particle matters, he said. The deteriorating air quality has serious health effects leading to respiratory problem, asthma and many other serious ailments, he said.

About remedial measures, the official said, conversion of industrial fuel from coal to oil, phasing out of old commercial vehicles, introduction of BS standard for new vehicles, improvement of auto fuel quality, effective emission control system for large industries, banning open burning of dry leaves were the pre-requisites.

The WBPCB in its report, also called for a ban on burning of raw coal within three km radius of Victoria Memorial to protect the monument.
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