Sunday, November 28

3-hour window for morning walkers

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Morning walkers can start their daily strolls at Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar from Wednesday. KMDA, the keepers of both the lungs of south and east Kolkata respectively, will open the gates at 5.30am for three hours every day.
Morning walkers and green activists have been seeking permission for the same since lockdown restrictions started easing in May. The authorities issued the order soon after chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced the reopening of parks and gardens for morning walkers on Tuesday evening.

Sudhin Nandy, executive engineer, KMDA, said, “Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar were closed on March 24. We are reopening the two waterbodies from tomorrow.” Environmentalist SM Ghosh told TOI: “We are grateful to the chief minister for understanding the need to maintain good health to combat the pandemic. I appeal to fellow morning walkers to wear masks and maintain physical distancing norms while strolling on the lakes’ premises.”

Ghosh also requested KMDA to clean up the entire premises. “After Amphan, the authorities have been working hard to clear the lake complexes. While the paved roads have been cleared of debris, the banks of Rabindra Sarobar are still full of broken branches and dry leaves. Now that people will start walking, the areas should be returned to their beautiful state.” Rathin Das, a morning walker, said, “I read that the air quality index (AQI) around Rabindra Sarobar improved during the lockdown due to fewer vehicles. The rain has cleansed the air further. I am really looking forward to my daily strolls.”

Ghosh said the PM 2.5 reading at Lake usually hovers around 18 to 22 ug/m3 these days. This has reduced considerably. Nandy said the number of tortoises seen at the Lake has gone up to 10-12 now from just two or three before lockdown. Number of birds, including those sighted rarely in past, has increased as well.
Source:Times of India

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