Waste, dry leaves and branches are being set on fire regularly in New Town.
Burning of dry waste releases toxic gases which cause a number of critical diseases, including in the respiratory system. Burning of any kind of waste in the open is banned in the city.
On Wednesday, dense black smoke billowed from a field opposite Eco Park, behind Westin Hotel, in New Town.
A pile of dry leaves and waste items including paper cups, plastic glasses and Styrofoam plates had been set on fire on the empty field. The fire then spread across the field, which was full of dry grass and vegetation.
The smoke could be spotted from at least 2km away and the air was filled with an acrid smell.
A fire engine from the New Town fire station took more than 30 minutes to douse the fire. A fireman said they had received alerts from a motorist as well as the control room of the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA).
An NKDA official said burning waste in the open was banned in New Town. Anyone caught doing so is liable to be fined Rs 5,000.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation can impose a fine varying between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000 on anyone caught burning waste in the open.
If waste is burned in the open, tiny toxic particles such as PM2.5 and PM10 and toxic gases like oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide are released in the air. PM2.5 can enter crevices deep inside the lungs and trigger respiratory problems.
“We are working with police and the fire department to ensure that such fires are doused as soon as they are spotted,” said NKDA chairman Debashis Sen.