For the first time, Kolkata traffic police on Wednesday, September 8, has directed traffic guards to conduct pollution tests on vehicles randomly. The move has been taken due to the explosion of private cars and two-wheelers on the streets to avoid jostling on public transport during the COVID period.
Earlier, the task of keeping a vigil on toxic fumes from vehicles was restricted to the anti-pollution cell of Lalbazar. Now, this is the first time that Kolkata Traffic Police has stepped in for the initiative, The Times of India reported.
According to TOI sources, the drive is being conducted after complaints from various environmentalists. They said several vehicles claimed to have pollution certificates but were instead violating the rules and wreaking havoc on the environment.
Police Personnel Trained In Using Devices
Twenty traffic guards had bought the smoke meters two years ago, which had been lying idle and will come to use now. "We decided to train our personnel in using the devices properly. The Pollution Control Board officials also helped us in this regard and sent the equipment for servicing. Five out of the 25 guards are yet to procure these devices, but they will get it soon," a Lalbazar officer told The Times of India.
"Several guards are already carrying out checks in the city and the rest will follow suit. We want to ensure such checks are carried out extensively," DC (Traffic) Arijit Sinha said. The police pointed that their men were constantly subjected to toxic fumes while on duty.
Welcoming the move, environmental activists said that there was no point arguing over jurisdiction. They added that some police action to curb pollution was the need of the hour which can help curb the highly polluting vehicles to go scot-free.