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Start-up makes device to improve AQI, Pollution Control Board seeks 'proof of concept'

Millennium Post 2020-01-14 23:38:03

Start-up makes device to improve AQI, Pollution Control Board seeks 'proof of concept'

Kolkata: The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has asked for 'proof of concept' from a start-up company that has come up with a device which they claim will improve ambient air quality in the city.

The start-up team made a demonstration of the technology before senior officials including scientists of WBPCB on Monday.

"We are happy with the efforts of the young team in trying to address the issue of ambient air quality. But, the presentation was in-house. We have asked them to give us a proof of concept which involves a practical demonstration of the device in reducing the ambient air quality. Until we are convinced of its effectiveness, in reality, we are not in a position to say whether we can implement the technology," said Rajesh Kumar, Member Secretary of WBPCB.

The device has been made by the start-up Persapien Innovations, founded by an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, Debayan Saha. It is capable of diluting the effect of pollutants like PM 2.5. "It is high time that we humans stop taking the environment for granted considering that we have since time immemorial pushed the nature to the ultimate edge ignoring its nurturing service towards us. We need to protect nature before it's too late to be mended," Saha said.

It may be mentioned that sprinkling water on dusty roads on a regular basis since November 2019 has seen a significant improvement in air quality index (AQI) in Kolkata and its adjacent areas. The urban local bodies are using sprinkling vehicles on a regular basis to bring down pollution.

Readings at all the air quality monitoring stations in the city during winter have witnessed improved air quality index in January in comparison to January last year.

Road dust consists of loose soil on broken or unpaved roads, particles that settle down on the road after emerging from the tailpipes of vehicles and construction-demolition waste that settles on a road. A preliminary report by the National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute (Neeri) has identified road dust as a major component of air pollution in Kolkata. The sprinklers contain particulate matters gathering in air and bring down air pollution.

"Our efforts to improve the ambient air quality in the city will continue and we are open to any suggestions or technology that may contribute to this," a senior official of WBPCB said.