On call, pollution control vehicles

In A first-of-its-kind initiative in perhaps any state of India, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has decided to roll out Pollution Control Vehicles (PCVs) to instantly respond to complaints and take action.

As a pilot project beginning this November the PCVs will be pressed into service in Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh and Dera Bassi. Each PCV will carry the pollution testing paraphernalia and be manned by a scientist, an engineer and an assistant.

"We will assign a dedicated number to the PCVs on the lines of the Police Control Room number. Depending on its success, the project could be replicated across all cities of Punjab," PPCB Chairman Kahan Singh Pannu told The Indian Express on Friday.

To decrease the time gap between reaching the spot and conducting physical verification while responding to a complaint is said to have prompted PPCB to roll out such vehicles for immediate action. "At times, when we receive complaint and then go to the spot, we find no violation. With the introduction of such vehicles, we will be able to respond instantly to any complaint," Pannu said, adding that even in the absence of any complaint, the PCVs will keep a watch on any violation that causes pollution.

Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM) executive director Umendra Dutt while welcoming the initiative, said: "If implemented successfully, it could go a long way in checking pollution levels in the state."

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