WBPCB plans to install sensors to detect stubble burning

WBPCB plans to install sensors to detect stubble burning

Kolkata: The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) is planning to install remote sensors across the state to detect stubble burning which is a major cause of air pollution, an official said on Thursday.

The board will buy software for the sensors from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra told reporters.

"WBPCB is working with IIT Delhi on this project and we will sign an MoU with the institute soon," he said.

Two scientists from the board will be trained by IIT Delhi to work on the project, he said.

The pollution watchdog has got a space near a shopping mall which is located close to a private hospital on E M Bypass in the city, where a monitoring station that will work in sync with the sensors will be set up, he said.

After getting the images of stubble burning, the state pollution control board will inform the police to take appropriate action, Rudra said.

"The sensors will help in tracking any incident of stubble burning across West Bengal and our scientists will inform the board's top officials who will coordinate with the administration," he said.

Rudra was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a workshop,'West Bengal Air Quality Management Mission', organised by the board. Environmental experts and World Bank representatives were present at the programme.

Asked about the alarming air pollution in Howrah's Ghusuri area, he said, "Two-three days back, we have ordered closure of seven hot mix plants and issued notices to five others to show why all prescribed environment norms were not followed."

Due to high density of hot-mix plants and foundry units in the area, Ghusuri and Belur in Howrah have witnessed deteriorating air quality and the state pollution control board is keeping watch on it, he said.

Responding to a query on whether the board is taking any initiative to control the use of plastics, Rudra said it was mulling an idea to ask a state-run dairy for having a buy-back arrangement to collect milk and other plastic packets from its customers.

"Modalities of the scheme will be chalked out," he added.