Connect Karo: City-specific holistic action plans needed to combat air pollution – Hindustan Times

Air pollution is an annual pain paint for Delhi. (AFP)

Connect Karo: City-specific holistic action plans needed to combat air pollution

Experts said the first step towards controlling air pollution in India’s urban centre is to identify the magnitude of the problem and to tailor plans to solve the unique problems that each city faces
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON SEP 17, 2021 12:19 AM IST

India needs to follow a multi-sectoral approach for the preparation of city specific action plans for controlling pollution levels, experts said in a discussion organised by World Resources Institute (WRI), India, in its annual flagship conference Connect Karo, which highlights ways of designing inclusive, sustainable and climate forward cities.

In its session, ‘Air Pollution: From Policy to Action’, panellists discussed the need for holistic plans to combat the problem. Experts also discussed how the Union government’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is leading cities to achieve its targets of reducing air pollution by 20-30% by 2024.

Ajay Singh Nagpure, head (air quality and sustainable cities), WRI (India), said multiple stakeholders must come together for the execution of the clean air action planning.

“Actions on ground have their effects on the natural components such as air, thus citizens and authorities must act in coherence for the best results,” Nagpure said.

The NCAP was launched by the ministry of environment, forests and climate change in January 2019, as a five-year strategy to reduce pollution in different Indian states in a comprehensive manner. Under NCAP, city specific air pollution mitigation action plans were required to be developed by all cities identified by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Experts said the first step towards controlling air pollution in India’s urban centre is to identify the magnitude of the problem and to tailor plans to solve the unique problems that each city faces.

“Recognising the issues of air pollution in the urban areas is the first major step in the direction of controlling it. NCAP has identified the issue of increasing air pollution in 124 urban agglomerations in India have been given the task of preparing city specific clean air programmes,” said Kishore Wankhade, manager, WRI (India).

The discussion also highlighted how source apportionment studies and emission inventory could help identify the sources of pollution in a region, which would further help prepare clean air action plans. Satellites-based data and air quality monitoring stations can also be used to fill the gaps and provide a better perspective on air quality, they said.

Anbumani Ramadoss asks Stalin to implement Clean Air action plan – DTNext

Chennai:

In a letter to Stalin, he noted that the National Green Tribunal’s Southern bench has sought a response from Tamil Nadu and other states regarding implementation of Clean Air Action plan as envisaged in the National Clean Air Programme. 

The Tamil Nadu government should formulate and implement the Clean Air Action plan without delay, Ramadoss said, expressing his disappointment at the state not doing so even after the NGT nudge. 

In the letter to Stalin, he said that the plan should include global practices on clean air as well as points mentioned by the United Nations in its documents including its document on Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based solutions report. 

He also said that the Clean Air Action plan must be formulated after receiving comments from NGOs, general public, political parties, and people’s representatives at all levels.

Anbumani Ramadoss asks Stalin to implement Clean Air action plan – CanIndia News

PMK leader and former Union Minister, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss has urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to immediately implement the Clean Air action plan.

In a letter to Stalin, he noted that the National Green Tribunal’s Southern bench has sought a response from Tamil Nadu and other states regarding implementation of Clean Air Action plan as envisaged in the National Clean Air Programme.

The Tamil Nadu government should formulate and implement the Clean Air Action plan without delay, Ramadoss said, expressing his disappointment at the state not doing so even after the NGT nudge.

In the letter to Stalin, he said that the plan should include global practices on clean air as well as points mentioned by the United Nations in its documents including its document on Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based solutions report.

He also said that the Clean Air Action plan must be formulated after receiving comments from NGOs, general public, political parties, and people’s representatives at all levels.

–IANS

aal/vd

Smog Towers a Ruse to Shift Accountability and Politicise Pollution, Say Experts – NewsClick

As the stubble-burning season approaches the National Capital region again, air pollution is assuming importance on the government’s agenda. After the first was inaugurated last month by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, yet another smog tower dots the capital’s skyline. The BJP has set up another tower in Delhi’s Anand Vihar area with the previous one being inaugurated in central Delhi’s Connaught Place.

India is home to 14 out of the 15 most polluted cities in the world. The 25-metre (82-foot) tower will supposedly dish out 1,000 cubic metres of air per second through filters that are said to halve the number of harmful particulates in a one sq-km radius (0.4 square miles).

However, the towers, which have cost the taxpayer over 40 crore rupees have no scientifc evidence of efficiency. More importantly, no impact assessment study was done before setting up the towers. Reports also mention that no reputable scientists have come out in support of smog towers as an efficient way to curb pollution and that no other country in the world has managed to clean outdoor air with the help of giant purifiers. In fact, environmentalists, scientists and clean air advocates have publicly and consistently opposed such measures.

As a result, the move to install these towers is being flagged as wasteful and detached, one which will shift focus away from practices that would actually lead to pollution control.

Speaking to Newsclick, Sunil Dahiya an analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), refuted claims of the machine’s efficiency. “Installing smog towers in open air spaces is pure wastage of public money, as it is highly energy and capital intensive to install and operate these smog towers to be able to provide some relief at a city-level, because as soon as they clean the air in the vicinity, new polluted air-particles from the upwind will come in and the air quality will again be poor. The real solution for pollution lies in reducing and removing pollution at source, either by shifting away from polluting practices and fuels or capturing pollution at the point of release,” he said.

India has more than 480 million people – about 40% of its population – living in areas where pollution levels regularly exceed those found anywhere else in the world. Residents of northern India are on track to lose more than nine years of life expectancy, the University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) report stated. It also added that in 2019, India’s average particulate matter concentration was 70.3 microgram per cubic meter (µg/m3), the highest in the world. The number is seven times what the World Health Organisation’s has set in its guidelines, the report said.

The smog-tower experiment has not yielded any gains internationally either. In 2018, China built a much-larger 60-metre smog tower in the polluted city of Xian, but the experiment is yet to catch on.

Speaking to Newsclick, Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director of Research and Advocacy at Centre for Science and Environment, said: “We have not seen any data or evidence from any air quality authority to prove that smog towers can improve ambient air quality in dynamic outdoor conditions of a city. Small applications in other parts of the world are recreational in nature and not part of any regulatory mandate for air pollution mitigation.”

“It is not clear why we are adopting such expensive and energy intensive gizmos and diverting attention and resources from, real hard action to control direct emissions from pollution sources. The reported cost of smog towers in Delhi is more than the funds allocated for air pollution control individually to most cities under the national clean air programme. If this is not evaluated and addressed right away more cities will rush towards this cosmetic gesture at a huge cost with no real dent on the pollution curve,” she added.

The Parliament also passed the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Billlast month amid protests. The Act dissolves the NCR’s Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA), which was established in 1998. An ordinance establishing a similar Commission was promulgated in October 2020. In the event of a conflict, the commission’s orders or instructions will take precedence over the orders of the individual state governments, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), state PCBs, and state-level statutory bodies. The law is also facing flak with experts criticising its centralised control and arbitrary powers.

Speaking to Newsclick, Bhavreen Kandhari, an activist from ‘Warrior Moms’, a group of mothers from all over India fighting for clean air, said: “Even if vacuuming the air was an option, Delhi would need over 2.5 million smog towers for any effective change in AQI levels. Obviously this is not the solution. The solution is reducing emissions at source, penalising polluters, protecting ‘natural smog towers’ like trees or strict laws to implement thermal power plants (TPP) norms or implement the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. Maybe the elected representatives need to wake up to all of the above instead of wasting our public money on such a farce.”

CNG run-vehicles, fountains on JNAC blueprint for clean JSR – Times of India

JAMSHEDPUR: The Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) has drawn a blueprint to reduce the increasing air pollution in the Steel City.
According to the plan, the JNAC will replace all the diesel-run vehicles, used by the civic body for various purposes, with the CNG-operated ones in the coming days.
“This would reduce pollution to a large extent,” said JNAC special officer Krishna Kumar.
JNAC city manager Sandeep Kumar said more water fountains will be installed across Jamshedpur, especially at the busy roundabouts, to reduce air pollution.
According to experts, water can absorb dirt particles in the air. Therefore, such fountains would help reduce air pollutants after the monsoon ends.
Sources said in a bid to reduce the usage of diesel, cold fogging – in which a chemical is mixed with water – will be introduced to check breeding of mosquitoes.
Nearly 40,000 auto-rickshaw drivers, who use diesel-run vehicles, have already been asked to switch to CNG by January 1, 2022. The move, experts feel, would reduce a large amount of toxic gas from the air.
Under the ongoing National Clean Air Programme across the country, the states are trying to spread awareness on the benefits of a clean environment.
Kumar said even after a state-wide ban on the usage of plastic bags, it is making a backdoor entry in markets. The JNAC is seeking help from various trade bodies, including the Singhbhum Chambers of Commerce and Industries, to resolve the issue.
Hotel associations have been instructed to set up a waste-recycling plant on their premises to ensure efficient waste management.

Govt Approves Rs 5 Cr Action Plan To Improve Air Quality In … – MENAFN.COM

(MENAFN – Kashmir Observer)

SRINAGAR- The District Development Commissioner (DDC) Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad on Tuesday chaired a meeting to finalize the Action Plan for Implementation and Monitoring of National Clean Air programme (NCAP) for improving index of air quality in Srinagar district.

Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Athar Aamir Khan, Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Khurshid Ahmad, Regional Director, Pollution Control Committee Kashmir, Rafi Ahmad Bhat, Chief Sanitation Officer, SMC, Nazir Ahmad Baba, Consultant under NCAP, Dr Shabir, Scientist-B, Pollution Control Committee, Mohammad Sultan and other concerned were present in the meeting.

During the meeting, a threadbare discussion was held on various aspects under Action Plan for implementation and monitoring of National Clean Air programme (NCAP) including procurement of Dusting and Vacuum Cleaning Vehicles for regular cleaning of road dust, Jet Washer Water Spraying of roads, establishment of Water Fountains, installation of Clean Air Towers and installation of Air Quality Monitoring system for North City.

The meeting was informed that a City Action Plan of Rs 5 crore has been formulated for the current year to improve Air Quality Index (AQI) in Srinagar district.

On the occasion, the DDC said that the main objective of the NCA Programme is to adopt modern technology based mechanisms for strengthening the air quality monitoring network, reducing vehicular/industrial emissions, identifying major causes of air pollution and increasing public awareness.

He stressed the Officers to put in extra efforts so that the Air Quality Index is brought down to below 50 against the present level.

The DDC said Central Government has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) 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 percent to 30 percent reduction in particulate matter concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.

He said improving quality of air is paramount for larger public benefit and all possible measures will be taken for the purpose. He called for collective effort to monitor quality of air to ensure desired air quality in Srinagar.

The DDC further called for increasing Green Cover in Srinagar City, besides other measures to improve air quality.

Regarding installation of Clean Air Towers, the DC directed the Officers to incorporate locations of crowded places where Clean Air Towers will be installed to augment and evolve effective and proficient ambient air quality monitoring network across the City besides, to meet the prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in a stipulated time frame.

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Rs 5 crore action plan approved to improve Srinagar's Air Quality Index – The Kashmir Monitor – The Kashmir Monitor

Srinagar: The District Development Commissioner (DDC) Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad Tuesday chaired a meeting to finalize the Action Plan for Implementation and Monitoring of National Clean Air programme (NCAP) for improving index of air quality in Srinagar district.

Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Athar Aamir Khan, Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Khurshid Ahmad, Regional Director, Pollution Control Committee Kashmir, Rafi Ahmad Bhat, Chief Sanitation Officer, SMC, Nazir Ahmad Baba, Consultant under NCAP, Dr Shabir, Scientist-B, Pollution Control Committee, Mohammad Sultan and other concerned were present in the meeting.

 

During the meeting, a threadbare discussion was held on various aspects under Action Plan for implementation and monitoring of National Clean Air programme (NCAP) including procurement of Dusting and Vacuum Cleaning Vehicles for regular cleaning of road dust, Jet Washer Water Spraying of roads, establishment of Water Fountains, installation of Clean Air Towers and installation of Air Quality Monitoring system for North City.

The meeting was informed that a City Action Plan of Rs 5 crore has been formulated for the current year to improve Air Quality Index (AQI) in Srinagar district.

On the occasion, the DDC said that the main objective of the NCA Programme is to adopt modern technology based mechanisms for strengthening the air quality monitoring network, reducing vehicular/industrial emissions, identifying major causes of air pollution and increasing public awareness.

He stressed the Officers to put in extra efforts so that the Air Quality Index is brought down to below 50 against the present level.

The DDC said Central Government has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) 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 percent to 30 percent reduction in particulate matter concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.

He said improving quality of air is paramount for larger public benefit and all possible measures will be taken for the purpose. He called for collective effort to monitor quality of air to ensure desired air quality in Srinagar.

The DDC further called for increasing Green Cover in Srinagar City, besides other measures to improve air quality.

Regarding installation of Clean Air Towers, the DC directed the Officers to incorporate locations of crowded places where Clean Air Towers will be installed to augment and evolve effective and proficient ambient air quality monitoring network across the City besides, to meet the prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in a stipulated time frame.




3 institutes study Pb, Hry air quality, find small towns bad – Times of India

Hisar: The seasonal burning of crop residue gives Haryana and Punjab country’s foulest air after the wheat and paddy harvests, so scientists have studied its pattern and relationship to formulate season-specific control measures. They find that dirty air is now a problem of even medium and small town.
Experts from the environmental science and engineering department of Hisar’s Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology (GJUST), Chandigarh’s Panjab University (PU), and the department of community medicine and School of Public Health at Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) have together examined the continuous air quality monitoring data to understand the seasonal variation and its link with weather and straw burning.
A research journal of Germany’s Springer Science and Business Media published this study authored by Sahil Mor, Tanbir Singh, Narshi Ram Bishnoi, Santosh Bhukal and Ravindra Khaiwal. The seasonal variation in ambient air quality was judged on 14 parameters such as particulate matter (PM), trace gases, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), along with meteorological parameters. The data came from 23 monitoring stations of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) in 21 districts of the Haryana.
The figures belonged to 2019, where the districts were divided into three zones based on ecology and cropping pattern. In all districts of Haryana, the annual mean particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations) in the air was much higher than the national standards. There was a considerable seasonal variation in the concentration of all pollutants in the air over Haryana. The pollution peaks post-monsoon (October-December), followed by winter. PM10 and PM2.5 increase by 65 to 112% and 131 to 147%, respectively after monsoon, while rains are the clean season that washes out atmospheric pollutants.
The satellite-tracked field fires show a significant influence of straw burning after monsoon, followed by the burning of solid biomass (cow-dung cake, wood etc.) in Haryana’s winter. The particulate matter, considered a proxy of air pollution, usually, has an annual mean PM10 concentration in Zones-1, 2, and 3 as 156±86, 174±93, and 143±74 μgm−3, whereas for PM2.5, it is 71±44, 85±54, and 78±47 μg m−3.
Lead author Narsi Ram Bishnoi of Hisar’s GJUST said the study of seasonal variation in Haryana’s ambient air quality will help to formulate season-specific control measures. He said: “Air pollution is seen as a problem of big cities usually, but it’s increasing even over the medium and small cities.”
PGI professor Ravindra Khaiwal said: “Farmers need to adopt sustainable practices to contain harmful emissions. The straw and cow-dung cakes they burn for cooking and heating in their rural kitchens is a major contributor to air pollution along with industrial and vehicular emissions. National Clean Air Programme, subsidised clean-cooking fuels, and subsidy for crop-residue management haven’t helped for want of public participation and awareness.

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Action Plan finalised for implementation, monitoring of NCAP in Srinagar – Greater Kashmir

Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Athar Aamir Khan, Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Khurshid Ahmad, Regional Director, Pollution Control Committee Kashmir, Rafi Ahmad Bhat, Chief Sanitation Officer, SMC, Nazir Ahmad Baba, Consultant under NCAP, DrShabir, Scientist-B, Pollution Control Committee, Mohammad Sultan and other concerned were present in the meeting.

During the meeting, a threadbare discussion was held on various aspects under Action Plan for implementation and monitoring of National Clean Air programme (NCAP) including procurement of Dusting and Vacuum Cleaning Vehicles for regular cleaning of road dust, Jet Washer Water Spraying of roads, establishment of Water Fountains, installation of Clean Air Towers and installation of Air Quality Monitoring system for North City.

The meeting was informed that a City Action Plan of Rs 5 crore has been formulated for the current year to improve Air Quality Index (AQI) in Srinagar district. On the occasion, the DDC said that the main objective of the NCA Programme is to adopt modern technology based mechanisms for strengthening the air quality monitoring network, reducing vehicular/industrial emissions, identifying major causes of air pollution and increasing public awareness.

He stressed the Officers to put in extra efforts so that the Air Quality Index is brought down to below 50 against the present level.

The DDC said Central Government has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) 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 percent to 30 percent reduction in particulate matter concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.

He said improving quality of air is paramount for larger public benefit and all possible measures will be taken for the purpose. He called for collective effort to monitor quality of air to ensure desired air quality in Srinagar.

The DDC further called for increasing Green Cover in Srinagar City, besides other measures to improve air quality.

Regarding installation of Clean Air Towers, the DC directed the Officers to incorporate locations of crowded places where Clean Air Towers will be installed to augment and evolve effective and proficient ambient air quality monitoring network across the City besides, to meet the prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in a stipulated time frame.