The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will write to the railways and other agencies to create hanging gardens on the piers of flyovers and elevated Metro Railway corridors, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Thursday.
Hakim said improving the city’s air quality, which has consistently remained moderate, poor and very poor throughout this winter, was a priority for the KMC.
The National Air Quality Index says air of “moderate” quality can lead to “breathing discomfort to the people suffering from asthma and heart and lung diseases”.
“Poor” air quality can cause “breathing discomfort to most people on prolonged exposure” and “very poor” air can trigger “respiratory illness on prolonged exposure”.
“We will write to the railways, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) and others. There should be vertical gardens on the piers of the Parama flyover, piers under Metro Railway corridors and flyovers maintained by the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners,” Hakim said.
An environmental scientist said expanding the city’s green cover was a sure way of curbing air pollution because leaves absorb dust.
Hakim also said civic engineers must refrain from covering the entire width of pavements with paver blocks. There should be gaps to plant trees.
“We want to plant 25 lakh trees by this monsoon,” the mayor said.