New Delhi: In the presence of Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Friday by representatives of State Pollution Control Boards, Urban Local Bodies and Institutes of Repute for 132 identified cities for implementation of city specific action plans under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
Speaking on the occasion, Javadekar said that concerted efforts are required by the State Governments and all concerned for improving air quality in the country towards realizing the vision of ‘Swatch Bharat, Swatch Vayu’ and exhorted all to work in mission mode. “Today’s initiative is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of curbing air pollution by 20% in the next four years in over 100 cities. It is not an easy task but a tough challenge which we all need to achieve together.” said minister.
The minister urged the States to quickly procure e-buses for public transport purpose sanctioned under the FAME Scheme. Regretting that despite allocation of funds for 6000 e-buses to different cities across the country only 600 buses have been procured and are operational, he said if any city fails to utilise the funds sanctioned for procurement of e-buses the allocation will go to other cities.
The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy to tackle air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner with targets to achieve 20% to 30% reduction in Particulate Matter concentrations by 2024 (with 2017 as base year).
The city action plans have been prepared to control specific air pollution sources through multidimensional actions by brining several implementation agencies together. Expansion of ambient air quality network, source apportionment studies, public awareness, grievance redressal mechanism and sector specific action points are part of these action plans.
For successful implementation, there was a paramount need for cooperation and coordination among State agencies and technical supervision by expert Institutions of Repute. This MoU will facilitate smooth and binding execution of planned actions in time targeted manner. A National Knowledge Network comprising leading air quality specialists has also been constituted as a technical advisory group to support activities under NCAP and guide local Institutes of Repute (IoRs) in conducting air quality researches.