After LPGs, Pollution Control Board set to introduce pellets at eateries

Pellets are organic material which amount to minimum pollution during combustion

Kolkata: The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) that has already started offering LPG gas connection to roadside eateries is now exploring the possibility of introducing pellets at the road side eateries in a bid to replace open chullahs for cooking.

As per the air quality action plan, approved by Central Pollution Control Board and the National Green Tribunal, the components that contribute substantially to air pollution are coal or wood-fired ovens.

"We are trying to introduce cleaner fuel in eateries and in addition to the gas ovens that we have started distributing in roadside stalls, we are planning to introduce pellets. I am told, that the pellets are much less polluting but some market economy has to kick in so

that there are some manufacturers who come and help us to manufacture these pellets, which can be popularised," said P.K. Mishra, Principal Secretary of state Environment department.

He maintained that the state government is ready to create an eco system and framework for the manufacturers so that they can thrive and survive and at the same time and contribute to societal needs.

A senior WBPCB official said pellets are organic material and when it is burnt there is minimum amount of pollution. The state MSME department in collaboration with Kolkata Municipal Corporation has demonstrated a technology in this regard on November 30 and the WBPCB is now trying to popularise the same.

"The technology is already there, so the board now wants the industry to come forward with some investment in this area," the official said.

"We are now conducting a study to assess the exact extent of reduction in pollution level with the use of pellets. But there is no doubt that it will be considerably less," Mishra said.

The WBPCB has already kicked off the process of providing subsidy in the form of one electric oven along

with the first LPG connection to the roadside food stalls to replace their coal based chullahs.

The board has already distributed 3,000 gas ovens with LPG cylinders to around 3000 wayside eateries. About 1,800 has been distributed in Kolkata Police area, over 800 under Howrah Commissionerate while 230 have been distributed in Bidhannagar Commissionerate area.

"We have plans to gradually distribute the same in all the police commissionerate areas and municipal areas in the state," a senior WBPCB official said.

The WBPCB has a budget of Rs 2 crore for the purpose which may increase as per requirement.

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