Kolkata: Air quality in cities of West Bengal is reasonably within the prescribed limits, according to the West Bengal Pollution Control Board which has been monitoring 12 basic parameters.
"The air quality data, monitored at five automatic air quality monitoring stations, are available on the website of the WBPCB," Environment Minister Sudarshan Ghosh Dastidar said.
The 12 basic parameters were being monitored in view of a revised national air quality standard notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Dastidar said.
The parameters were Respirable Particulate Matters (RPM), PM 10, PM 2.5, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, carbon monoxide, benzene, ozone, benzopyrene, arsenic, lead and nickel and were being measured at four monitoring stations at Shyambazar, Behala, Barrackpore and Durgapur.
Earlier the WBPCB used to measure only RPM, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
The monitoring stations were at Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Malda, Kalyani, Uluberia, Rabindra Bharati University, Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata, Howrah, Durgapur and Haldia.
Ghosh Dastidar, who flagged off two mobile air-pollution measuring vehicles, said there would be Green Puja Award to motivate puja organisers to make the festival environment-friendly.
The minister said that two manual monitoring stations would measure the three air quality parameters at different locations to check possible variation in air quality during the Durga puja festival.
Started with 29 puja organisers last year, the contest would be participated by 105 puja organisers this year, Ghosh Dastidar said.
"Criteria for selection will comprise use of eco-friendly material at pandals and idols, lighting, sound, fire safety, environmental responsibilities and social responsibilities," he said.
A special team of judges would declare three winners and five special prize winners, he said.
The Environment Department and the WBPCB organised a workshop last month to motivate artisans to use non-toxic and lead-free paint. Nearly 100 artisans from different clusters joined the programme, Ghosh Dastidar said.
"Monitoring of vehicular emission on the road is vested with the Anti-Pollution Cell of police and the Motor Vehicles Department under the supervision of WBPCB", the minister said.