Crores spent but Indian cities are still gas chambers – The New Indian Express
NEW DELHI: While many parts of the country have recorded alarming levels of air pollution, government data has revealed that the Center has spent substantial sums to tackle the threat, but it all seems to have been wiped out .
The Center sanctioned nearly Rs 515 crore under the National Clean Air Program for 2020-21 and 2021-22. In addition, Rs 4,400 crore was released in 2020-2021 in accordance with the recommendations of the 15th Finance Committee to combat air pollution in 42 cities and urban agglomerations.
An amount of Rs 290 crore was allocated under the NCAP and Rs 152.73 crore was released in 2020-21 for the expansion of the surveillance network, construction and demolition waste management facilities, infrastructure non-motorized transporters, green buffers, mechanical sweepers, composting units, etc. For 2021-22, an allocation of Rs 225 crore has been made.
The Center launched the NCAP in January 2019 as a national strategy for pan-Indian implementation to reduce air pollution levels across the country. The NCAP is a five-year, medium-term action plan. Taking into account the available international experiences and national studies, the provisional national level target of 20-30% reduction in PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations by 2024 is being considered under the NCAP.
As part of the NCAP, 124 non-compliant cities were identified across the country based on 2014-2018 air quality data. Steering, monitoring and implementation committees have been set up at central and state levels to monitor the implementation of the NCAP.
In addition, city-level nodal officers have been appointed by the Central Pollution Control Board to oversee the on-the-ground implementation of the NCAP. Apart from these, there are many central programs that also focus on tackling air pollution in cities. Approximately 7,365.82 crore rupees has been allocated for solid waste management under the Urban Swachh Bharat mission during the period 2014-2019.
In addition, a provision of Rs 1,41,678 crore over a five year period from 2021 to 2026 has been made for Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 with a focus on reducing air pollution by effectively managing waste construction and demolition activities and bioremediation of all old landfill sites.
Air pollution control Plan Allocation
Rs 290 crore NCAP 2020-21
Rs 225 crore NCAP 2021-22
Rs 4,400 crore XV Finance Commission