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Increasing air pollution resulting into more health hazards for people

Vikas Sharma. Dated: 1/7/2019 10:51:46 AM

Govt failed to frame any action plan till date

Vikas Sharma
Jammu, Jan 6
While, the National Green Tribunal has directed 23 States and Union Territories, including the national capital Delhi and Chandigarh, to prepare action plans within two months to bring the air quality standard within the prescribed limit.
But till date nothing has been done in this regard as the result the increasing air pollution is now resulting into more health hazard for the people.
The States and Union territories asked to prepare action plans are: Maharashtra (17 cities); Uttar Pradesh (15); Punjab (9); Himachal Pradesh (7); Odisha and Madhya Pradesh (6 each); Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan (5 each); Karnataka (4), Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Telangana (3 each); Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland and Uttarakhand (2 each); and Jharkhand, Delhi, Chandigarh, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal (1 each).
Pertinent to mention here that there are 102 cities where air quality does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, the panel formed an Air Quality Monitoring Committee (AQMC), comprising Directors of Environment, Transport, Industries, Urban Development, Agriculture Departments and Member-Secretary of State Pollution Control Boards.
The NGT said the Chief Secretaries of the States and Administrators of the Union Territories will be personally accountable for failure to formulate action plans.
Meanwhile to keep a check over the increasing air pollution the centre government has formulated a Pan-India clean air programme set to roll out with Rs 300 crore initial support and a mid-term target.
“The Centre has earmarked Rs 300 crore for implementation of the upcoming National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) for financial year 2018-19 and 2019-20,” informed a top government officer.
Overall cost of taking multiple air pollution abatement measures in 102 cities across the country will, however, be much more than what the government has budgeted for next 15 months.
The NCAP is a pan-India national level strategy to tackle increasing air pollution problems in a comprehensive and time-bound manner. The Centre has set a mid-term (five-year) target to reduce air pollution by 20-30% by 2024, taking 2017 as base year.
The initial budgeted amount will primarily be meant for expanding air quality monitoring capacities in states, and setting up national emission inventory and conducting source apportionment studies in cities which are important to identify nationwide pollution hotspots, figuring out exact sources of pollution and conduct its own scientific studies on health effects of air pollution.
The official noted that the announcement would just be a formality as the NCAP as a strategy document doesn't need to get notified.
"States have already been sensitised and asked to submit their city-specific actions plans. Many states including Jammu and Kashmir have, in fact, submitted their plans which are being scrutinised by a CPCB expert committee," he said.

 

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