Govt plans green awards for pollution-free pujas

In a bid to create awareness about environmental issues, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board has decided to give Green Awards to Pujas which comply with environmental norms.

Although honouring Pujas is not new in the state, this is the first time such an award will be given by the Environment department of the state.

"Green Puja Awards 2011 will be given by the WBPCB and Environment Department of the state," said Benoy K Dutta, the chairman of the pollution control board. He said a team of experts has already been constituted and that it will inspect the various pandals in the city and adjoining Howrah on Sasthi and Saptami.

Moreover, the pollution control board has also roped in the experts from the Government Art and Craft College to make the trophy for the award.

Meanwhile, the pollution board has also planned a poster competition for the art and craft college. Selected posters will be displayed at various pandals in the state.

Besides, the pollution watchdog has also taken steps to ensure the pandals implement the environmental norms. A special control room will function at Paribesh Bhavan, headquarters of the WBPCB, from October 2 to October 6. People can complain on the toll free number (1800 345 3390) about norms being flouted by any pandal.

"Last year we received 8 to 10 calls every day from people who complained about 50 cases of environmental violation. The number of teams involved in inspection this year has been increased. We are taking care to make Pujas trouble-free," Dutta said.

This year, Puja organisers, besides taking permission from Kolkata Police, are required to submit an undertaking to the WBPCB that they would comply with environmental norms.

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