Kolkata, Jan 19 (PTI) Kolkata is safer than New Delhi so far as air pollution is concerned, claimed West Bengal Environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee.

Countering reports based on study of air pollution by the US embassy and consulate in Delhi and Kolkata respectively, Chatterjee said those pollution levels are area specific and can never be generalised.

The US Consulate General’s air pollution monitor in Kolkata covers Park Street area, one of the busiest parts in the city, where vehicular movement is maximum. But in Delhi, the US embassy in the diplomatic enclave is covered by greenery, where traffic movement is much less, he said.

“Obviously pollution level in Delhi’s diplomatic enclave could be a little less than that in Park Street, but if the level is measured in the entire city, Kolkata will emerge as much better,” said Chatterjee, who is also the city mayor.

He also claimed that air pollution is less in Kolkata than any other metro city in the country.

On the measures taken to reduce air pollution in Kolkata, he said the environment department would set up five automatic air pollution measuring machines in Kolkata and Howrah.

Of them, three machines would be installed in Kolkata.

Two of the three would replace two inoperative machines at the Victoria Memorial and the Rabindra Bharati University, while the third one would be installed at a different location, Chatterjee said.

Of the two in Howrah, one would be installed at Howrah town and the other one near Bally or Belur, he said.

The state government was also thinking about introducing CNG in vehicles instead of using petrol and diesel. “But this has to be done in phases,” Chatterjee said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.