Govt begins distribution of LPG cylinders, gas burners to roadside stall owners in bid to curb pollution

Kolkata: In a bid to reduce the level of air pollution in the city and the adjoining areas, the Bengal government has chalked out an elaborate plan of distributing LPG cylinders and gas burners among those who run roadside eateries and stalls.

The project would be implemented by the government at Bidhannagar on a pilot basis and it would later be replicated in other parts of the city and Howrah.

State Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Basu, along with Bidhannagar Mayor Krishna Chakraborty on Saturday started distributing LPG cylinders and gas burners among the stall owners in Bidhannagar.

Around 788 roadside stall owners in five police station areas from Bidhannagar and adjoining places who still use coal or kerosene for cooking, would be given cylinders and gas stoves in various phases. Bidhannagar police will prepare the list of the beneficiaries.

As many as 100 stall owners who use kerosene and coal for cooking were distributed cylinders and gas burners at Salt Lake Central Park on Saturday. West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) chairman Kalyan Rudra was also present at the programme.

The initiative has been taken up by the state Environment department in collaboration with the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and Bidhannagar police. This is for the first time that any pollution control board in the country has ventured into such a project, Rudra claimed.

According to the state environment department, those who cook food by using coal and kerosene at their households and in the stalls, often cause massive air pollution. After considering various aspects, the Environment department has decided to provide gas connections so that the business of the roadside stall owners does not get affected.

The department would also prepare a list of coal and kerosene users in Kolkata, Howrah and in various parts of New Town and Salt Lake.

Incidentally, it may be mentioned here that the Environment department has been taking various preventive measures to check the pollution level in the air during winter. The department also has a plan to sprinkle water on the city's roads and in the adjoining areas to control pollution.

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