West Bengal: To curb pollution, stool bags introduced for horses

As part of a joint initiative to fight environmental pollution, the Kolkata Police and West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) on Friday introduced stool bags for horses.

At a launch event held in front of the north gate of the Victoria Memorial, the specially-designed bags were handed out to 12 horse owners, 7 drivers of horse-driven carriages and 5 mounted police personnel.

The funding that went into making these bags was taken care of by the WBPCB. The idea germinated after environmental activists flagged horse excrement as one of the key contributors to environmental pollution.

Explaining the differences between these bags to hold horse faeces and human diapers, a WBPCB official said while a diaper has to be changed every eight to ten hours, the rubber-made stool bag could be worn for many days at a stretch. However, they have to be removed once for cleaning at the end of a day, the official said.

Sources said the joint initiative was undertaken at the behest of Kolkata Police Commissioner Soumen Mitra after he put forward the idea of using stool bags to prevent horses from defecating on the streets. With the excrement going into the bag, the roads and environment will remain clean, the official added.

The fleet of horses, which are part of the Kolkata Mounted Police, go through a strict exercise drill every day.
The mounted police started its operations way back in 1840 with only two ‘sawaars’ (riders) under a dafadar (head officer).

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