Stop Vehicular Pollution in Kolkata sign now

To: Honble Chief Minister of West Bengal, Honble Transport Minister of West Bengal

Dear Sirs,

This is an urgent appeal to you for taking immediate action on the issue of vehicular pollution in Kolkata.

Kolkatas air quality is in a perilous state, and there are enough scientific data available to substantiate this fact. However, we choose not to furnish them in this forum. Instead, we would just like to point out that this is a non-negotiable issue that cuts across all possible forms of boundaries, e.g., social, economic, age, gender etc. The black fumes that come out from the vehicles affect everyone alike the auto-rickshaw driver, the traffic sergeant, the office commuter, the street hawker, the school children, and almost everyone who is on the road, except the ones who travel in private car with the glass windows rolled up and the air-conditioner turned on.

There are people already fighting for clean air in the city, and thanks to their relentless hard work, we now have a High Court order, passed on the 18th of July 2008, by which the following measures need to be implemented:

commercial vehicles more than 15 years old to be phased out or converted to Bharat Stage III from April 2009
all 2-stroke auto-rickshaws to be scrapped by December 2008
auto-rickshaws to run on LPG from December 2009
auto emission testing centers to remain under strict vigil and to be fined and suspended for irregularities

We are aware that a committee, consisting of senior government officials and academicians, has already been formed to implement this; but as concerned citizens of this city we just want to see to it that the efforts to do not fizzle out with time. The objective of this petition is to express the common citizens solidarity with the ones actively associated with anti-pollution campaign and to convey to the government that clean air is a demand of the mass, not just a handful of environmentalists.

We appeal to the West Bengal government to do the following:

1. Carry out the High Court order in a time-bound fashion
2. Restrict plying of goods vehicles during the day and ensure that those travel in night are checked for pollution
3. Augment public transport by introducing big, clean buses in more numbers and piloting concepts like dedicated bus lanes for faster flows
4. Institutionalize a transparent and hassle-free process by which the common citizen may lodge complaints against polluting vehicles and get to know the action taken on the complaint (Given the adults indifference towards lodging complaints, government may like to introduce a scheme by which children are encouraged through rewards to submit the registration number of the polluting vehicles to the West Bengal Pollution Control Board. We would thus be having a large section of the population itself acting as pollution watch dogs for the city.)

Many of the above measures have already been successfully implemented, or being experimented with, in other cities, including New Delhi. We are merely urging our government to replicate them in Kolkata.


This petition is also a pledge to do our own bit to address the problem. Whoever signs this petition, takes a pledge to minimize the use of cars and avail buses to the largest extent possible. This small step taken by each of us will collectively help reduce the pollution and traffic congestion in Kolkata, and make it a better place to live and breathe in.

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Ella QuinnBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
Government of West Bengal

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