Choking Kolkata

Published: Wednesday 31 October 2001

Kolkata taxis: Polluting taxis are the most polluting vehicles in Kolkata, reveals a survey carried out by the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority. At least 50 per cent of the city's taxis were found to be violating emission norms. Furthermore, 39.2 per cent of the city's trucks, about 32.6 per cent of private vehicles and the same percentage of minibuses were also found to be defying emission laws. Moreover, even 20 per cent of the auto rickshaws and government vehicles are not adhering to these norms. Inevitably, air pollution levels in the city have increased drastically. With the exception of Salt Lake and Ultadanga area, all other city centres like Moulali, Hazra, Shyambazar and College Street are highly polluted. During the survey, ground level ozone was measured for the first time in Kolkata. It varied between 245 to 392 microgramme per cubic metre between Salt Lake and Shyambazar areas. The survey further revealed that the levels of oxides of nitrogen in the city have increased by 12.5 microgramme/cubic metre, whereas that of hydrocarbons have risen by 15.4 microgramme /cubic metre.

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