As the pollution grows in the city concern over air quality also increased. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to set up an air quality monitoring cell at the civic headquarters. Along with monitoring the status of air quality, it also aims to improve coordination between various departments of the government for better implementation of mitigation measures.
Currently, the officers handling air-quality-related work also have other jobs. A dedicated body for air quality monitoring was a long-time demand and the KMC has decided to set it up now, a senior civic official said.
The key functional areas of the cell will include assessing the level of pollution, finding its source and planning mitigation measures. Sub-zonal-wise analysis of the air quality will be carried out to find out specific locations in the city where air pollution levels remain high consistently over other areas. With winter and Diwali celebrations approaching, the air quality in the city is expected to get worse in the coming days. Though the Supreme Court allowed only the bursting of green crackers for two hours in during the recently-concluded Kali Puja, the air quality deteriorated significantly.
The KMC has recently endorsed a global treaty to equitably phase out fossil fuels and support measures to reduce carbon footprint. With this, Kolkata became the first Indian city and the third Asian city to sign the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.The corporation has been pushing several actions to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Some of the proposals include action plans for running the city’s commercial vehicles on non-fossil energy sources from 2030, particularly promoting electric vehicles in a major way. According to experts, rapid urbanisation and near-complete dependence on fossil fuels by the transport sector makes the city’s air quality extremely poor.