Patna: Expressing concern over the alarming level of air pollution in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed concerned officials for banning 15-year-old diesel vehicles in the state capital among other measures to improve the situation.
Presiding over a review meeting of the Environment and Forest Department on Wednesday evening, he also directed officials to launch an awareness campaign among vehicle owners and drivers about the growing air pollution in order to elicit their cooperation against unnecessary blaring of hooters, sirens and horns.
Among the other measures, the Chief Minister said a ban should be imposed on burning plastic and other solid waste materials within the confines of Patna Municipal Corporation.
With building materials being the prime cause of air pollution, he said that construction works must be carried out by covering the structure. Trucks and tractors supplying building materials, sand in particular, must have the same covered during transportation so that its particles do not pollute the air.
Identifying brick kiln units located around embankment of the river Ganga in the state capital as another source of air pollution, the Chief Minister said that the Bihar Pollution Control Board (BPCB) should be delegated with powers to initiate against the brick kiln units that violate environment laws.
The Chief Minister stressed on plantation of trees, poplar in particular, to check the rising air pollution and directed the Environment and Forest department officials to set up a market at Hajipur Bazar Samiti for marketing poplar plants.
To encourage farmers to be a partner in tree plantation drive to improve forest coverage in Bihar, he issued directions to give them an incentive of Rs.10 each for first two years and Rs.15 in the third year for protection and care of saplings being planted on large scale in Bihar.