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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

Green crusader now turns focus on city's heritage ride

HT Correspondent  Kolkata, March 14, 2013
First Published: 11:20 IST(14/3/2013) | Last Updated: 11:23 IST(14/3/2013)

A known champion for the cause to restore and safeguard the city's greens, environmentalist Subhash Dutta has now turned his focus on the rampant noise pollution generated by the city's heritage ride, trams.

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The feisty green crusader is reportedly considering a probe into the incessant and often ear-splitting clatter generated by the trams while plying on the mazy network of tracks spread across the city. Dutta is currently in the process of mobilising the necessary equipment and infrastructure to probe into the sound abuse by the public transport considered among the oldest bearers of the city's proud legacy.

"I do harbour reservations about the research conducted by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), since it is in the care of the state government. There wouldn't have been any fear of bias, had the research been commissioned by an independent body," Dutta told HT. The issue of sound abuse by trams, considered the most eco-friendly of all public rides in the city, was first flagged by the chief justice of Calcutta High Court Arun Kumar Mishra after he directed the state government to prepare a report on the level of noise pollution by trams plying in the city. His direction followed a reference of the report on noise pollution by the state green board.

"The report by the WBPCB appears biased and hence I wish to take up an independent study. But there could be some constraints on the way, as the equipment required for the study don't come cheap and we don't have the necessary infrastructure to take up a research of this kind," said the activist, whose sustained campaign against green hazards led the apex court to direct the high court to set up a special Green Bench to take up and arbitrate on environmental issues back on June 17, 1996.

Dutta has already moved a fresh PIL in the high court with regard to rampant noise pollution in the city.

Responding to the same on Thursday, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Arun Kumar Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi set a 14-day deadline for the Mamata Banerjee government and state pollution control board to submit a report on sound abuse by trams.


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