KOLKATA: The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) served a showcase notice on Visva Bharati University authorities asking why the central university should not pay Rs 10 lakh for flouting guidelines laid down by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) during the recently concluded Pous Mela. In a letter to the university’s registrar on Tuesday, the WBPCB said there were coal-fired ovens in some of the stalls but there were no fire extinguishers in the stalls. The bio-toilets installed during the annual fair, that was held between December 24 and 26, were also found to be inadequate.
The pollution control board has asked the university authorities to give an explanation soon without mentioning any deadline. Earlier, the NGT had asked the university authorities to conduct the annual event in an ‘environment-friendly’ manner in cooperation with Birbhum District Administration and Bolpur Municipality, ensuring solid waste management and without causing air pollution. In a meeting with the university authorities on December 18, the WBPCB had given a number of recommendations for environmental norms to be followed.
“The Visva Bharati authorities did not comply with several key recommendations of WBPCB which was found when a committee appointed by the pollution control board visited the fair,” said environmentalist Subhas Dutta, one of the member of the committee.
The fair was started in 1894 by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s father Maharshi Debendranath and the central university authorities have been organising it since 1951.