Buddha eye on CNG

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 7.02.07

The state government will try its best to introduce compressed natural gas (CNG) in Calcutta at the earliest.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee announced this on Tuesday, citing the examples of Mumbai and Delhi, where automobile pollution has “gone down reasonably” because of the use of CNG.

The government, the chief minister added, is talking to the Reliance group for bringing the gas to the state.

“Automobile pollution has become a big concern for us. We are exploring the possibility of bringing CNG through a pipeline from Andhra Pradesh,” Bhattacharjee said at the Environment Excellence Award Ceremony 2006.

The programme was organised by the West Bengal Cleaner Production Centre — a collaborative effort of Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the state pollution control board (PCB) — to appreciate the concern for the environment shown by industrial houses and NGOs.

While addressing the gathering, Bhattacharjee requested the PCB to help the government’s industrialisation drive by preparing a list of dos and don’ts. “We cannot isolate industry from the environment. So, we have to make sure industrial units are set up following all environmental guidelines,” he pointed out.

The environment department and the PCB were criticised for their slackness. “The department and the PCB had become a bit lax. I hope Prof Asok Nath Basu (former Jadavpur University vice-chancellor who has recently been appointed chairman of the board), will strongly hold the steering,” Bhattacharjee hoped.

Basu, however, took a dig at the “over-awareness” of certain environment activists, saying they were not actually serving the green cause.

The chief minister also informed the gathering that the government was “in the process of implementing a new set of guidelines recommended by the Centre to curb industrial, air and water pollution”. Efforts are also on to shift industrial units out of the city.

Environment minister Sailen Sarkar called for “active participation of all departments, companies, private organisations, NGOs and the people” to keep the city’s air clean.