Even as the state government struggles to implement the blanket ban on two-stroke autos and 15-year-old vehicles along with the conversion of four-stroke autos into the LPG mode,environmentalists claim the city is fast choking to death due to the rising air pollution.
A study released by the Delhi-based environment group Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Thursday revealed cold statistics about Kolkatas air pollution with an annual average of respirable suspended particulate matter level exceeding the national standards,in 2007,by 1.4 times. As per the monthly data available for last year the trend seems to be continuing. With the annual average level of nitrogen in the city in 2007 being 56ug/cum,environmentalists claim the situation is worsening day by day.
Even the carcinogenic benzene levels in Kolkata were found in the winter of 2006-2007 to be as high as 36 ug/cum,which is shockingly higher than Delhi which has larger number of vehicles. The national draft ambient air standard proposed a limit of 5 ug/cum as annual average,which would mean the city had dangerously high levels of carcinogen,emitted largely by two-stroke vehicles, said Sumita Narain,Director,CSE.