Bengal committed to keep pollution under control: Minister

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Kolkata, June 10 (PTI) Twenty devices to track vehicular emissions and air pollution are being installed on state-run vehicles in West Bengal, Environment Minister Md Ghulam Rabbani said here on Monday.

Speaking at a programme at the West Bengal Pollution Control Board headquarters to commemorate its 50th year, Rabbani highlighted Bengal's successful implementation of a "modernized approach" to establish the most extensive air quality and sound pollution monitoring and tracking system across the state.

"WBPCB is committed to transforming waste into valuable resources as part of the Save Planet initiative," he added, referring to the West Bengal State Action Plan setting the target for 2030 to mitigate environmental impact in the face of climate change.

"Injustice to the environment means injustice to human beings and other living beings," Rabbani emphasised.

Rajesh Kumar, member secretary of WBPCB, noted that the number of automated air monitoring stations in the city and its surroundings has increased from 14 to 22, with an additional 90 manual air monitoring stations established across the state.

Moreover, the number of sound monitoring stations has risen from 10 to 230 for real-time monitoring of noise levels and violations of decibel limits.

He also mentioned that WBPCB distributed 4,000 'smokeless chullahs' in 2024-25 to reduce noxious fumes.

In addition, Kumar highlighted the introduction of a solid waste management monitoring system, with a pilot project initiated in the Newtown Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) area.

To curb the use of single-use plastics, WBPCB plans to install cloth bag vending machines in various markets, Kumar added.

Roshni Sen, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, emphasized WBPCB's efforts to protect the two RAMSAR sites - Sunderbans and East Kolkata Wetland, with a detailed action plan in place.

She underscored the crucial role of the East Kolkata Wetland in absorbing sewage discharged by the metropolis, stressing the importance of preserving both the mangrove forest and the wetland for Kolkata's ambient environment and existence. PTI SUS MNB

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