On August 6, two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations were inaugurated by the Mayor in Dhakuria. These are the first EV charging stations built at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) initiative in collaboration with the CESC.
Two more EV charging stations will be coming up – adjacent to the Maa Flyover and AJC Bose Road Flyover.
Rule to encourage electric vehicles
The KMC has taken the initiative to encourage the use of electric vehicles to keep a lid on pollution from vehicles run on conventional fuel.
Towards that end, the Mayor said, the Corporation will introduce a rule that will make it mandatory for big housing complexes to keep aside space in the parking area for setting up charging points. The meters will be set up by the CESC
Currently, there are 40 electric buses running in Kolkata, with their EV station located at the Nabanna bus stand.
Replacing coal-heated ovens
Another recent decision by the KMC to prevent pollution, the Mayor said, was to replace with electric ovens the coal-heated ovens used at roadside eating places and ironing stalls. The civic body will provide subsidy for buying the ovens.
All these efforts are towards making a greener and cleaner Kolkata, wherein the cooperation of the city’s citizens ia also called for.
Source: Bartaman, Millennium Post
The information technology sector in Bangla has progressed in leaps and bounds under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The Trinamool Congress Government has created a favourable environment for the growth of the sector and its related industries in Bangla.
This is evident from a comparison of the achievements of the Information Technology & Electronics Department in 2010-11, which was the last year of the Left Front rule, and 2017-18:
· Plan Budget of the department: More than doubled, from Rs 93.7 crore to Rs 201.53 crore, signifying an increased focus on the information technology and electronics sector;
· Software export turnover: Grew by almost 2.5 times, from Rs 8,500 crore to Rs 21,000 crore. Bangla is thus gradually turning into a hotbed of cutting-edge technology;
· Employment in IT sector: Significant rise from 90,000 to 1.5 lakh, ushering in a tech-savvy generation
· Investment for creation of IT hardware clusters: Nil earlier to Rs 14.86 crore; thus, the State Government, for the first time, under the direction of Trinamool Congress, is focussing on the creation of hardware clusters
· Investment for creation of IT parks: Grew by more than 16 times, from Rs 37.18 crore to Rs 612.11 crore, thus bringing about an unprecedented focus on infrastructure creation – 15 IT parks have been completed and 10 more are under construction.
Under the direction of Mamata Banerjee, the department is bringing about an all-round development, opening numerous employment opportunities, both in software and hardware.
The award-winning Sundarini Naturals brand of the State Government is soon going to sell organically-made factory-processed milk on a large scale, packed in environment-friendly easily degradable packets (which can break down easily in soil). The entire process – from rearing cows to producing milk – would be organic, that is, no chemicals would be used.
In an initiative to empower women of the Sundarbans, a cooperative named Sundarban Co-Operative Milk & Livestock Producers Union Ltd. was started in 2015. Its brand was named Sundarini Naturals by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
For its achievement in helping almost 3,000 downtrodden women to fight back in life through the making and selling of cow milk, ghee, honey from the jungles of the Sundarbans, eggs of ducks and hens, moong dal and rice, the National Dairy Development Board recently awarded Sundarban Co-Operative as the best milk cooperative and selected Sundarini Naturals as an ideal model, fit for replication elsewhere in the country.
Every day, 10,000 litres of milk would be packed at the state-of-the-art factory, to be built inside the Kisan Mandi in Mathurapur-1 block in South 24 Parganas. The work of building the plant would be completed by December.
Each pouch would be of 500 ml and would be priced at competitive rates. The initial effort would be to capture a portion of the Kolkata market. Sundarban Co-Operative is in talks with various malls to stock its brands there.
The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) is a statutory regulatory authority of the Bengal Government. It is responsible for setting standards and monitoring pollution levels and taking steps as and when required.
Among its responsibilities, functions and activities are:
- Monitoring and control of industrial effluents and emissions
- Management of wastes in coordination with urban local bodies
- Installation of online effluent quality monitoring system at 42 grossly polluting industrial units
- Control of vehicular tail pipe permission, especially in Kolkata, by working in collaboration with the State Transport Department and Kolkata Traffic Police
- Provision of e-rickshaws in rural areas
- Installation of rainwater harvesting structures in 32 schools and solar panels on the roofs of 200 schools
- Creation of environmental awareness programmes on World Environment Day, organising rallies, cultural programmes and training programmes, reclamation and beautification of waterbodies and parks, distribution of non-toxic colours to idol-makers participating in various fairs, etc.
- Effective use of the fly ash generated in thermal power plants
- Provision of solid waste management units in rural areas
These and other measures being taken by WBPCB are resulting in the improvement of all aspects of the environment of the State.
Source: Departmental Budget
The scope of work of the Environment Department is very wide, exhaustive and challenging. The wings of the department work in close coordination to fulfil the commitment of the Bengal Government towards its people for a clean and more livable environment – be it in terms of air, water, noise or several other aspects.
For effective control of pollution, a number of steps, measures and policies have been initiated by the Environment Department which include stringent regulations, development and periodical revision of environment standards, control of vehicular pollution, control of air and water pollution, abatement and prevention of noise pollution, revisiting and revision of the list of critically polluted areas and their environment improvement plans, etc.
The department has been funding research projects through grants-in-aid both to its parastatals like West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), West Bengal Biodiversity Board (WBBB), East Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority (EKWMA) and Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management (IES&WM), and also to some research institutions.
Some of the salient points regarding the working of the Environment Department:
- WBPCB is constantly monitoring and taking suitable measures for improving air quality and reducing water body pollution.
- An online system of WBPCB’s consent administration has been developed for transparency. All monitoring data can now be accessed from the board’s website. The consent administration has also been simplified.
- The ‘consent to operate’ periods have been increased: from two years to five years for Red Category Industries, from three years to five years for Orange Category Industries and from five years to seven years for Green Category Industries. A new White Category has been introduced which only requires the relevant industries to give information to the WBPCB and is exempt from ‘consent’ administration.
- The State Action Plan for climate change is being amended to strengthen the plan, introduce mitigation measures in addition to adaptation measures and bring it in line with the latest developments in various fields.
- Actions on conservation of biodiversity, preparing a comprehensive register and promoting conservation have been accelerated.
- A lot of work has been done for restoration and beautification of many waterbodies.
- More emphasis has been laid on organising awareness activities to spread environment education among all sections of society and mobilising people’s participation for preservation and conservation of environment.
Source: Departmental Budget
Like last year, this year too, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) did a commendable job of removing the idols from the Hooghly after the Kali Puja immersions. For this work, KMC has earned high praise from environmentalists.
With almost three-and-a-half-thousand immersions taking place, the water would have got polluted if these were not removed. Along with the frames, there are the colours used to paint idols and flowers which lead to pollution too.
At the major ghats where immersions were allowed, KMC had cranes, barges, payloaders and trucks stationed which worked through the nights to remove the idols floating on the river. Immersions had taken place for three days at 17 ghats along the Hooghly.
বিসর্জনের পর দূষণ রুখতে দ্রুত প্রতিমার কাঠামো সরালো কলকাতা পুরসভা
কালীপুজোর বিসর্জন প্রক্রিয়া সুষ্ঠুভাবে সাঙ্গ করে গঙ্গার ঘাটগুলিকে পুরনো অবস্থায় ফিরিয়ে দিয়ে পরিবেশের প্রতি দায়বদ্ধতা ফের প্রমাণ করল কলকাতা পুরসভা। দুর্গাপুজোর পর কালীপুজোতেও সমান দক্ষতার সঙ্গে গঙ্গার দূষণ রুখে রাজ্য দূষণ নিয়ন্ত্রণ পর্ষদ ও পরিবেশ দপ্তরের প্রশংসাও পেলেন পুরকর্তারা।
শুক্রবার থেকে গঙ্গার ১৭টি ঘাটে প্রায় ৩৫০০ প্রতিমা বিসর্জন হয়েছে। শুধু সুষ্ঠুভাবে ভাসান প্রক্রিয়া সম্পন্ন করাই নয়, পাশাপাশি গঙ্গার দূষণ রোধে উল্লেখযোগ্য ভূমিকা পালন করেছে পুরসভার জঞ্জাল বিভাগের প্রায় শ’তিনেক কর্মী।
বিসর্জনের পর প্রতিটি ঘাট থেকে প্রতিমার কাঠামো, ফুল, বেলপাতা সরিয়ে ফেলা হয়েছে দ্রুততার সঙ্গে। এছাড়া বিসর্জনের পর প্রতিটি ঘাটকে ধুয়ে পরিষ্কার করার জন্য প্রশংসা পেয়েছেন পরিবেশবিদদের। পুরসভার পাশাপাশি গঙ্গা দূষণ রোধে তৎপর ছিল বন্দর কর্তৃপক্ষও।
ক্রেন, ভাসমান বার্জ, পে লোডার, ট্রাক, ছোট ক্রেন রাখা ছিল প্রতি ঘাটে। বিসর্জন খতিয়ে দেখতে পুর আধিকারিকেরা ছিলেন প্রতিটি ঘাটে। তাছাড়া ভাসানের ওপর ছিল পুলিশের করা নজরদারি। শব্দবাজি, ডিজে মিউজিকের ওপর ছিল নিষেধাজ্ঞা। মহিলাদের নিরাপত্তায় দেওয়া হয়েছিল বিশেষ জোর।
Source: Sangbad Pratidin
Picture courtesy: ProKerala
Under the able leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Bengal Government has taken numerous steps for a greener environment in the last six years.
Here are the most important achievements:
- From May 2011 to May 2017, Air Quality Monitoring Systems have been installed at 80 places.
- Water Quality Monitoring Systems have been installed at 102 points in the rivers Ganga, Damodar, Ichhamati, Rupnarayan, Tista and Mahananda for monitoring on a regular basis.
- Forty projects have been completed under Rain Water Harvesting Structure at 40 educational institutions in Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum and Paschim Medinipur districts. In addition, 90 Wetland Ecological Conservation Projects have been completed in the wetlands of Kolkata, Howrah, Bidhannagar, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Purba Medinipur and Cooch Behar with a financial involvement of Rs 29 crore.
- Online Industrial Clearance System has since being introduced to make the process of giving permission for setting up industries simple, speedy and flawless.
- In 2010, the Haldia, Howrah and Asansol had been declared as Critically Polluting Areas. But things are now in control and as a result, lots of industries have come up in these places – oil installation, gas installation, port activities and ferro-alloy manufacturing in Haldia, expansion of coal mines in Asansol and steel manufacturing in Howrah. In addition, twenty green (that is, non-polluting) buses have been introduced in the Durgapur-Asansol industrial area using coal bed methane as fuel.
- Thirty-nine industries under the ‘Grossly Polluting Industries’ category in the Ganga river basin have installed Online Effluent Quality Monitoring Systems.
- In order to achieve climate change mitigation, two hundred solar photovoltaic cells have been installed in educational institutions and health centres.
- In collaboration with the Forest Department, intensive plantation has been done in the Durgapur-Asansol and Paschim Medinipur industrial areas with a financial involvement of Rs 10 crore.
- One demonstrative model for Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting System has been installed in each of the 20 districts (except in the recently constituted districts of Kalimpong and Jhargram) to show their mitigative impact on climate change in the wetlands. Five other such fully functional units have been formally installed in the districts of Bankura, Hooghly and Purba Medinipur.
- A mass-scale rooftop rainwater harvesting project has been started in Darjeeling Municipal Corporation to provide water to poorer sections of the hilly town to benefit an estimated 3,200 families directly and indirectly. A total of Rs 23.121 crore has been granted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) in 2016.
- The project, Enhancing Adaptive Capacity and Increasing Resilience of Small and Marginal Farmers of Purulia and Bankura District, facilitated by DRCSC (Development Research Communication and Service Centre), had been sanctioned US$ 2.5 million (approx. Rs 15 crore) under the first Adaptation Fund Project of India in 2015.
- State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) had been prepared in 2012 and follow-up actions with regard to adaptation/implementation are going on.
- A vulnerability assessment project in the context of climate change has been started in 2016 for Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts at a cost of Rs 2.16 crore as part of the National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE), under the Department of Science & Technology.
- West Bengal is the first State in India to implement the project of ‘Downscaling of Global Climate Change Model (GCM)’ to district-level projections in 2017 through the expertise of IIT Bombay.
ENVIRONMENT CLEARANCE STATUS
- From May 2011 to May 2017, the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has given environmental clearance to 230 industrial, thermal power, mining, infrastructure and building construction, and township and area development projects.
INTEGRATED COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROJECT (ICZMP) (A WORLD BANK-funded project):
- 100% electrification of Sagar Island.
- Construction of Nat Mandir at Sagar Island as part of the ‘Eco-Tourism Project in Sagar Island’ project.
- Laying of 11.33 km sewer line and a 6.7 MLD sewage treatment plant as part of the ‘Sanitary Sewerage Scheme for Digha’ project for providing efficient municipal/public health services. Treated effluents will be discharged into the sea, which in turn will reduce coastal pollution.
- Under the ‘Beachfront Development in Digha’ project, beach beautification Phase-I for improving facilities and reducing the pollution level has been completed, which includes two watch towers, an open-air theatre, rehabilitation of 219 hawkers through temporary and permanent kiosks.
- Under the ‘Multipurpose Cyclone Shelter in Five Coastal Blocks’ project, 25 multipurpose cyclone shelters have been constructed.
EAST KOLKATA WETLAND MANAGEMENT
- From May 2011 to May 2017, the State Department of Environment has done 15.575 km of canal desiltation, 6 km of road renovation, plantation of 6,000 seedlings and excavation of a bheri (fish cultivation farm) in the East Kolkata Wetland.
Picture courtesy: thebeaconkolkata.co.in
Bengal government is committed towards prevention of pollution levels in the State. To achieve this goal, the government is taking several initiatives. The government is going to introduce environment-friendly buses in the State.
The Chief Minister will flag off seven CNG buses today on the sidelines of Khadya Sathi Dibas and Police investiture ceremony. The buses will start plying on the roads for public from 30 January, 2017.
Two private bus manufacturing companies have been given the contract to make 20 CNG buses, out of which 10 are ready. Seven of these will be displayed at Red Road today. The CNG bus service will be initially rolled out in Asansol-Raniganj region.
রাজ্যে পরিবেশ-বান্ধব সিএনজি বাস পরিষেবা চালু করছে রাজ্য সরকার
দূষণ রোধের জন্য বিভিন্ন পরিকল্পনা গ্রহণ করেছে পশ্চিমবঙ্গ সরকার। সেই মতোই সারা রাজ্য জুড়ে পরিবেশ-বান্ধব বাস চালু করার সিদ্ধান্ত নিয়েছে রাজ্য সরকার।
সেই পরিকল্পনা অনুযায়ী আজ রেড রোডে সাতটি সিএনজি বাস উদ্বোধন করবেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়। এই পরিবেশ-বান্ধব বাসগুলি রেড রোডের প্রদর্শনীতেই প্রথম বার পথে নামবে। এর পর ৩০ তারিখ থেকে তা রাস্তায় চলবে।
রাজ্য সরকার দু’টি বাস প্রস্তুতকারী সংস্থাকে মোট ২০টি বাস তৈরির জন্য বরাত দিয়েছে। তার মধ্যে ৭টিকে রেড রোডে এ দিন বের করা হবে। এই পরিষেবা প্রথমে রানিগঞ্জ ও আসানসোলের মধ্যে চালু করা হবে ।
The state environment department has taken up an initiative to run CNG run vehicles in Asansol-Durgapur area. Easy availability of CNG in the region has prompted the state government to introduce the environment friendly transport in the industrial and trading hubs.
The change from the present system of running the public transport system will be implemented in phases. In the first phase 500 state run buses will be asked to convert into CNG. Apart from this fleet of South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) run buses, the state will ask at least 2000 auto rickshaw operators in the Durgapur-Asansol area to opt for CNG, state environment minister Sovan Chatterjee said.
If the experiment in this region bears fruit, the same will be offered as an option for Kolkata and its adjoining areas, Chatterjee said. The state environment department will give Rs 5 crore to the state transport department for the conversion.
Easy availability of Coal bed methane gas which is a variant of CNG has made the conversion possible in the area. There are two private firms which are producing the natural gas in the region. This makes the conversion easy for us,” the minister said.
যৌথ উদ্যোগে পরিবেশ বান্ধব যান এবার রাজ্যে
এসবিএসটিসি আর পরিবেশ দফতরের যৌথ উদ্যোগে এবার রাজ্যে নামছে পরিবেশ বান্ধব বাস ও অটো৷ ইতিমধ্যেই নতুন এই বাস, অটো চালু করার জন্য এসবিএসটিসি-কে পাঁচ কোটি টাকা দিয়েছে পরিবেশ দফতর৷
পরিবেশ মন্ত্রী শোভন চট্টোপাধ্যায় জানিয়েছেন, তৈরি হয়ে গিয়েছে ব্লু প্রিন্ট৷ দু’টি কোম্পানির সঙ্গে কথাও হয়ে গিয়েছে৷ যার মধ্যে সবুজ সঙ্কেতও দিয়েছে একটি কোম্পানি৷ কেমন হবে পরিবেশ বান্ধব যান? মূলত ন্যাচারাল গ্যাস বা সিএনজিতে চলবে এই বাস এবং অটো৷ এই সমস্ত যান বাহনে দূষণের পরিমাণও অনেক কম৷ কলকাতার রাস্তায় কাটা তেলের অটোর বদলে এখন যেমন সিএনজি গ্যাসের অটো চলছে একই কায়দায় চলবে এই ধরনের যানবাহন৷ প্রাথমিকভাবে ঠিক হয়েছে ২০০০ অটো ও ২৫টা বাস নামবে রাস্তায়৷ তবে এখুনি কলকাতার রাজপথে নয়, পরীক্ষামূলকভাবে প্রথমে আসানসোল, দুর্গাপুরেই চলবে এই পরিবেশ বান্ধব বাস ও অটো৷
পরিবেশ মন্ত্রী শোভন চট্টোপাধ্যায় বলেছেন, “দীর্ঘদিন ধরেই রাজ্যে পরিবেশ দূষণ রোধ করার কথা ভাবছে রাজ্য সরকার৷ তারই ফলশ্রুতি হিসাবে চালু হচ্ছে এই পরিবেশ বান্ধব যান৷” ‘এসার’ আর ‘জিইসিএল’ নামে দু’টি প্রাকৃতিক গ্যাসের কোম্পানির সঙ্গে কথা হয়েছে৷ আপাতত দুর্গাপুর, আসানসোলে চললেও পরবর্তীকালে কলকাতার রাজপথেও এই ধরনের যানবাহন চালানোর কথা ভাবছে রাজ্য সরকার৷
Kolkata is the first city in South Asia to be included in the list of prestigious C-40 group of megacities, which is committed to creating environment-friendly cities.
An agreement in this regard was signed between state urban development and municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim and Kevin Austin, deputy executive director of C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group at Nabanna on Friday.
Hakim said that apart from Kolkata three other Indian cities namely Jaipur, Delhi and Mumbai were eager to join the C40 group. Finally, Kolkata was selected.
The group will offer help to the state government on a host of areas for addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The major areas are solid waste management and air pollution. The group will come up with a blueprint including suggestions and ways by which they can be implemented so as to help Kolkata to become an environment-friendly city. The blueprint will be given to both KMDA and KMC for implementation.
C-40 Group helps in achieving the common goal of all the cities in saving the climate. The group offers cities a forum where they can share knowledge to take meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change, said Hakim.
Bengal’s joining the group was conceived by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her London visit.
Image via englishsamachar.com