The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will buy road-sweeping machines and water sprinklers in large numbers in its effort to combat air pollution. According to a senior official in the solid waste management department, the civic body will buy 10 mechanical road-sweeping machines and an equal number of water sprinklers in the first phase.
The initiative to buy these machines was taken three months ago following a West Bengal Pollution Control Board recommendation after National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the state to take adequate measures to combat growing pollution in Kolkata. The WBPCB has paid Rs 2.5 crore as advance and will have to pay around Rs 20 crore more.
According to the official, the machines will reach the KMC headquarters in one and a half months. “We placed the work order for buying road-sweeping machines last month and completed the process of placing work order for the water sprinklers this week. We have been told these machines will arrive from Delhi by early December,” said a civic official.
Once they reach Kolkata, they will be used at different traffic intersections and major thoroughfares to keep suspended particulate matter (SPM) at bay. According to a KMC official, the water sprinklers will be used for dual purposes. “While we will use the entire fleet of water sprinklers at some of the highly polluted traffic intersections, especially during winter, to bring down the SPM level, the same vehicles will be pressed into service for watering the median verges where flower beds accumulate dirt,” said an official. Each vehicle will also be fitted with a vacuum cleaner to clear the road once their work is done.
The reason behind purchasing these machines was to bring down the air pollution threat. The civic top brass was compelled to buy the vehicles after the state asked the civic authorities to take the initiative to fight air pollution keeping in mind the NGT diktat. Different KMC departments will pledge to take steps to fight air pollution and the measures will be conveyed to the NGT.
Source: Times of India