In a bid to reduce air pollution, water sprinkling vehicles will be marked at seven locations in Bengal, including Kolkata, to sprinkle water to keep the Air Quality Index (AQI) under control. On Wednesday, state environment minister Manas Bhunia informed that in addition to water sprinkling vehicles, his department is considering planting trees that grow in the inter-state border region of Bengal, which is expected to absorb pollution flows from other states. Mayor Firhad Hakim will sign off the sprinkler vehicle from the Esplanade on November 26 at 3 p.m. At the same time, such vehicles will be flagged off from designated locations in Bidhannagar, Howrah, Barrackpore, Haldia, Asansol and Durgapur in the presence of several ministers.
These water sprinkler vehicles will spray water on the roads in the morning and afternoon to suppress dust particles and reduce air pollution. Although this initiative was taken for the six cities that did not make it, Bidhannagar was included in the list because it is adjacent to Kolkata, despite not falling into this category. This initiative will last until March.
Apart from water sprinklers, Bhunia also informed that all Commissioners of Police (CPs) and Superintendents of Police (SPs) in the state have been directed to attach sound suppressors by users and manufacturers as per the National Green Tribunal order. to ensure that PCB guidelines are properly followed. The PCB has already prepared a list of about 25,000 sound system suppliers and handed it over to the police so that the officers can contact them and inform them about the guidelines. Rajesh Kumar, member secretary, PCB, said that soon, sound-limiting devices would be distributed to all police stations in the state to show them to the sound system contractors.
This equipment will be procured from West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation and WEBEL. The police have been directed to implement the NGT's order and send a compliance report to the PCB by December 31. If any violence is noticed on the order, the license of the sound system suppliers may be revoked. In a letter sent to the CP and SP, Kumar also said that the police officers concerned may be held responsible if any lapses in proper compliance of the NGT order are found.