Protesting the ever-growing traffic congestion and high levels of air pollution in Siliguri town, the Darjeeling District Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) launched a signature drive on Monday.
It demanded that authorities concerned check smoke emission papers of all vehicles, including government ones. In a symbolic demonstration that tried to show the bad air quality in Siliguri, the protesters covered their mouths with black masks.
According to the DYFI zonal secretary, Udayn Dasgupta, the reason for the smog in the town isbeing attributed to the smoke emitted from vehicles. “Every day, we face traffic congestion in the streets of Siliguri and on the same line, the air quality is also degrading.
We demand law enforcers to sternly check the pollution papers of vehicles falling under government and private categories in a bid to control the smoke emission,” said Mr Dasgupta.
“Fearing that Siliguri will be the next Delhi in the days to come, we launched the signature campaign on Monday. We will meet the police administration after the Holi festival, and put forth our demand,” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking on the issue, a geography professor at the North Bengal University (NBU), Arindam Basak, said the growing number of vehicles has contributed to the lowquality air in Siliguri.
“The number of vehicles plying is on the rise as compared to the roads in Siliguri. The public transportation system is polluting the air and they should be checked.
The frequency of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) buses should be increased as they are low smoke emission vehicles,” said Mr Basak.
Notably according to the Air Quality Index (AQI), Siliguri is currently in the second position in terms of pollution, the first being New Delhi. Siliguri has smoked past several cities according to the first set of central data on the town.