New Delhi: Union Environment Minister Babul Supriyo said today the Government is taking all efforts for the mitigation of air pollution in the country. He explained that the Central Government has taken a number of regulatory measures for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in the country.
The Central Government has launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) under the Central Sector ‘Control of Pollution’ Scheme as a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner with targets to achieve 20% to 30% reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024, keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
102 non-attainment cities mostly in the Indo-Gangetic Plains have been identified based on ambient air quality data for the period 2011-15 and WHO report 2014/2018.
City specific Action Plans have been approved for all 102 non-attainment cities for implementation on the ground.
The Central Government has notified a Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) in 2018 identifying timelines and implementing agencies for actions identified for prevention, control and mitigation of air pollution in Delhi and NCR.
Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was notified on 12 January 2017 for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in Delhi and NCR.
It identifies graded measures and implementing agencies for response to four AQI categories, namely, Moderate to Poor, Very Poor, Severe and Severe+ or Emergency. Several steps have been taken for creating awareness amongst the general population.
The Sameer app has been launched wherein air quality information is available to the public along with provisions for registering complaints against air polluting activities.
Air quality information collection and dissemination are done from a centralized location. It provides real time air quality status to all stakeholders.
A dedicated media corner, Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created for access to air quality related information and to provide a platform for lodging complaints by the general population.
Crowd sourcing of innovative ideas, suggestions, and proposals from the public is done through CPCB website to strengthen efforts for improving the air quality in Delhi-NCR.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is implementing Environment Education, Awareness and Training Scheme with the objective to promote environmental awareness among all sections of society and to mobilize people’s participation for conservation of environment.
Under the National Green Corps (NGC) programme of the Ministry, about 100,000 schools have been identified as eco-clubs, wherein nearly 3,000,000 students are actively participating in various environment protection and conservation activities, including issues related to air pollution.
The Ministry is promoting peoples participation and awareness building among citizens for environmental conservation with a focus on promotion of cycling, saving water and electricity, growing trees, proper maintenance of vehicles, following of lane discipline and reducing congestion on roads by car pooling etc.
This information was provided by Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Babul Supriyo, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
Supriyo also said today that air quality in Delhi has improved since 2016 due to Government efforts to reduce air pollution.
An earlier report published by Indus Dictum found that poor air quality is lowering life expectancy by 7 years in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab & Haryana. Researchers associated with the study on Air Quality Life Index said the huge impact on life expectancy was due to a 72% increase in pollution from 1998 to 2016 in the regions.