Patna,(BiharTimes): To curb air pollution in Patna a Delhi-type plan has been mooted by the Environment and Forest Department and the Bihar State Pollution Control Board.
As per the plan Patna-based government officials and employees would be asked to observe car/bike-free day once every week.
The state Environment and Forest Department has in an official proposal recommended that officials and employees of all the departments in the secretariat and other government establishments operating out of the state capital can be asked to either pedal or walk their way to the workplace and use vehicles only in case of emergency.
According to a department official it is quite often observed that government employees use official vehicles even for short distances. This does not only lead to wastage of resources but also adds to air pollution.
He said restriction on use of vehicles at least on a day every week would help them develop environment-friendly attitude and also inspire residents.
The state transport department figures say that 15,000-odd vehicles are in use by various Bihar and central government wings in Patna. Around 5,000 of these vehicles have been directly purchased by the government agencies whereas the rest are hired from private individuals and transport firms.
In all about 12 lakh vehicles are plying in Patna.
Environment and Forest Department officials feel that though the percentage of government vehicles plying on the streets of Patna is very small yet it would send a good message to the people. If the citizens would see senior officials going on cycle or walking down to office they may try to imitate this practice even once a week. This would help check pollution.
Besides, government vehicles are used more frequently than private ones.
The average level of PM10––fine particulate matter that invades the lungs and triggers respiratory diseases and cancer––in the air these days has been around 350 g/m3, three-and-a-half times the corresponding daily permissible limit of 100 g/m3.
Patna’s air quality Index (AQI) surged to 476 on December 27 last year, the highest in the country and probably the highest ever for the city. The AQI is an assessment of the air quality taking into account eight pollutants: PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 10 micron), PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 micron), nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead.