Kolkata: West Bengal Environment Minister Suvendu Adhikary on Wednesday said construction firms and agencies have been asked to cover construction areas to prevent dust particles from spreading in the air in the city and surrounding areas. The dust generated during construction of buildings was the principal reason for particulate matter hanging on air during November to March, he said. Mr. Adhikary told a press meet that only three parameters of environment – PM 10 (particulate matter), PM 2.5(particulate matter) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) – remained non-compliant while nine other parameters were compliant in the city and surrounding areas. The nine compliant parameters included SO2, Ozone, CO, Ammonia, Benzene, Lead, Arsenic and Nickel, he said.
The minister said a three-pronged action plan has been launched to address the issue. As the first step the department, in collaboration with West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), would monitor the construction activity of buildings and roads and ask for wrapping the construction areas/buildings with geo-textile fabric, install dust barriers which will be appropriate for the location, he said.
At a meeting earlier in the day between the body of private real estate firms CREDAI, HRBC and the minister and Environment officials, the firms were asked to apply water prior to levelling of earth or any other earth moving activity to keep the soil moist throughout the process. Mr. Adhikary, stressing environment pollution was not so alarming as being projected in certain quarters said,
We are committed in ensuring a 100 per cent clean environment and you will see the three non-compliant environment parameters also coming to favourable situations by2019 November
As part of the second step, to curb vehicular pollution 15-year old commercial vehicles were being totally stopped from entering the city from January 8, 2019 following a transport department circular issued on December 31, 2018, the minister said. As part of the third step, the Kolkata Police in a circular prevented burning of firewood, tyre, straw and ten teams were constituted forming members of KP, PCB to undertake continuous raids in different parts of the city, he said.
As part of our aim to stop waste burning and solid burning, we have formed the teams which will undertake raids in different zones. But we will provide the people, associated with small roadside business, incentives so that they can start business with alternative resources
Mr. Adhikary said the government has also stopped waste burning at one point of Dhapa dumping ground and burning of waste at the other point will also be stopped soon, to stop accumulation of particulate matter in air. He said all the three action plan will fall in place by March 31 this year and the “results will be seen by next winter as we will act on war footing.”
The minister said the department will install 10 devices which will suck dust particles at ten points of the city and five more automated air monitoring stations across the city by March 31. There are presently two automated monitoring stations at Victoria Memorial and Rabindra Bharati University, B T Road.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.