Corpns deploy mechanised sweepers to deal with dust – Times of India

New Delhi: To prevent road dust adding to the air pollution, all the three municipal corporations have deployed mechanised road sweepers. These machines cover over 2,000 kilometres of road length. The north, south and east civic bodies are not only relying on the road sweepers to pick up the billowing dust along 2,600km of city roads every day, but they also plan to increase the fleet strength from the current 52.
At present, the machine-fitted trucks are being used in single shifts by the north and east corporations, while the south civic body is covering areas under its jurisdiction in two shifts.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation has 18 mechanical sweepers, which cover 850km of road length in a 12-hour shift every day. They collect 50 metric tonnes of dust daily and get rid of it at dumping sites designated for construction and demolition waste. During the process, the civic body uses 18,000-20,000 litres of recycled water to settle dust, procuring the water from its own treatment plant at Haiderpur. North corporation officials also claimed that road sweeping was occasionally carried out in two shifts during the day to reduce the dust on the roads.
According to the Department of Environment Management Services (DEMS), the cash strapped north corporation has requested Delhi government for funds to procure six more mechanised road sweepers. An official of the engineering department said, “It is well known that North Delhi Municipal Corporation is struggling with funds. So, we have asked Delhi government for funding under the National Clean Air Programme to purchase six more mechanised road sweepers that we require.”
SDMC has deployed 24 mechanical sweepers in two eight hour shifts per day to sweep 1,455 km of road length daily. The corporation also uses 55,000 litres of recycled water in the mechanised sweeping trucks daily. Every day, the mechanised sweepers collect 80.5 metric tonnes of dust and silt that are taken to construction and demolition waste dumping sites.
The south body plans to add eight more mechanised road sweepers to its fleet. “The purchase of eight additional sweepers are in the pipeline,” said a civic official. “They will be added soon to the corporation’s existing fleet. Four of them are going to be e-vehicles.”
In the east of the capital, EDMC uses 10 machines to sweep approximately 330km of roads, every day collecting 20 metric tonnes of dust and silt in eight-hour shifts. The civic body disposes of the dust at the Shastri Park construction and demolition waste dump. All the road sweepers are fitted with water tankers that spray water on the roads as it moves along. This involves the use of 16,000 to 20,000 litres of recycled water that the corporation sources from the Delhi Jal Board.
“Currently, we have deployed an adequate number of mechanised road sweepers to sufficiently cover the roads under our jurisdiction,” said an official in the engineering department of the east corporation.

UPSC CSE Key – December 3, 2021: What you need to read today – The Indian Express

Important topics and its relevance in UPSC CSE exam for December 3, 2021. If you missed the December 2, 2021 UPSC CSE exam key from the Indian Express, read it here.

FRONT PAGE

SC warns Delhi govt on pollution: Will appoint someone to administer

Syllabus: 

Preliminary Examination: General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change

Main Examination: General Studies‐III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Key Points to Ponder:

*Reason for Delhi Air pollution

*Why Delhi pollution is always in News

*Stubble Burning, Happy Seeder, Diwali Crackers 

*Geography of Delhi/ Location

*Supreme Courts Judgments on Delhi Air Pollutions

*National Green Tribunal and Various Decisions given by NGT like modification in National Clean Air Programme

*Air Quality Management in NCR Region-Role and Steps Taken so Far

*Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)

*A recent Study by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) titled ‘Impact of SAFAR Air Quality Forecasting Framework and Advisory Services in Reducing the Economic Health Burden of India’.

*Steps taken By Central and Delhi Government to Curb Pollution like Car Rationing (Odd-Even Policy)

*Best International Practices to Curb Air Pollution in Urban Areas

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic: 

*Hardlook: Delhi holds its breath

*Seeding happy, cleaning air: Farmers adopting non-burn tech give hope

*Explained: Why does air pollution rise in October every year?

THE CITY

Started in 2007: Nizamuddin Basti conservation project gets two UNESCO Awards

 Syllabus: 

Preliminary Examination: History of India (Medieval Indian History)

Main Examination: General Studies‐I: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Key Points to Ponder:

*UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation programme

*Humayun’s Tomb, Settlement of Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti, 16th Century Batashewala Tomb-Garden Complex, Tomb of 16th Century courtier poet Khan I Khanan ‘Rahim’, and the Mughal-period caravanserai of Azimganj Serai.

*The Urban Renewal projects

*Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)

*People-Public-Private Partnership model to Conserve the Heritage Monuments

*Why there is need to protect Heritage Sites?

*Previous Year Questions asked in UPSC CSE Mains Examination with Similar/Same Theme: 

*Safeguarding the Indian art Heritage is the need of the moment. Discuss (2018)

*Indian philosophy and tradition played a significant role in conceiving and shaping the monuments and art in India. Discuss (2020)

IN PARLIAMENT

RS passes dam Bill; Opp says refer to House panel

Syllabus: 

Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Main Examination: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key Points to Ponder:

*Highlights of the Dam Safety Bill

*Rationale behind the Dam Safety Bill

*Dams, Disaster and Disaster Management

*National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) and National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA)

*State List and Union List

*Centre-State Relations

*Principle of Federalism and Cooperative Federalism

*Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

*The Dam Safety Bill 2019

*Dam Safety Bill cleared by Parliament: What is it and why were states opposed to it?

*Why Dam Safety Bill bothers Tamil Nadu

*Dams were built to control floods; they are now triggers

Human trafficking survivors identify gaps in draft Bill, seek community-based rehabilitation

Syllabus: 

Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

Main Examination: 

General Studies‐I: Poverty and developmental issues, Social empowerment

General Studies‐ II: Indian Constitution-Significant Provisions, Development processes and the development industry.

Key Points to Ponder:

*Article 23 of the Indian Constitution

*Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) draft Bill 2021

*prevention of trafficking

*The Indian Leadership Forum Against Trafficking (ILFAT)

*community-based rehabilitation model

*why it is important to define how survivors should be rehabilitated

*Various measures taken by Centre and States to curb the menace of Human Trafficking

*Role of NGOs and various other groups or organisation

*United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC)

*Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

*World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

*Why a strong law against human trafficking is necessary in post-Covid times

*In pandemic, Centre waved red flag on trafficking, but key states yet to take action

*Most manual scavengers are from Scheduled Castes: govt

Syllabus: 

Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

Main Examination: 

General Studies‐I: Salient features of Indian Society, Poverty and Developmental issues

General Studies‐ II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

Key Points to Ponder:

*What do you understand by the term ‘Manual Scavenging’?

*Is Manual Scavenging is driven by Caste, Gender and Income Divides?

*Recent Statistics given by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on Manual Scavengers

*Socio-Economic Caste Census of 2011

*Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 or Manual scavenging Act, 2013

*Survey of manual scavengers in 2018 was conducted by the National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC)

*Steps taken by Centre and State Governments for rehabilitation of manual scavengers

*Other Important Articles Covering the same topic: 

*Breaking Free: Rehabilitating Manual Scavengers

*The missing manual scavengers of India

*Invisible and unheard: India’s women manual scavengers

THE EDITORIAL PAGE

Fertile Ground

Syllabus: 

Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development

Main Examination: General Studies‐III: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

Key Points to Ponder:

*MSP (minimum support price) and effectiveness of MSP implementation

*How MSP is calculated (paid out costs, labour etc.) and Crops covered under the MSP

*What are the demands by Farmers in the context of MSP? 

*“Right to MSP”-is it possible to implement and if not, then what are the issues and Challenges? 

*MSP and Doubling Farmers Income

*Recommendation of Ashok Dalwai Committee and M. S. Swaminathan Committee

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic: 

Swaminathan Report: National Commission on Farmers

MSP is not the way to increase farmers’ income

Explained: The cost of guaranteed minimum support price (MSP)

China in sea, India at dock

Syllabus: 

Main Examination: General Studies‐ II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points to Ponder:

*Maritime outlook of India and China

*India Needs to Formulate Comprehensive “National Strategy for Maritime Security” 

*China’s 2019 Defence White Paper (DWP)

*China’s shipbuilding industry “strategic industry” directly benefitted its naval programmes

*India needs to Enhance the navy’s share of the defence budget

THE IDEAS PAGE

New geography of welfare

Syllabus: 

Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

Main Examination: General Studies‐ II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors, Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Human Resources

Key Points to Ponder:

*Key Findings in National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) 

*National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) child-related outcomes like Child Stunting, Diarrhoea, anaemia and Acute respiratory illness.

*NFHS-5 on sex ratio at birth

*Improvement in Old BIMARU States Performance like great switch between some of the BIMARU states and the mid-peninsula/western states.

*Terms like ‘Great Switch’ and ‘New Welfarism’

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic: 

Vital Stats- National Family Health Survey 5

 EXPLAINED

What’s in ART, Surrogacy Bills

Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Main Examination: General Studies‐ II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key Points to Ponder:

*What is Assisted Reproductive Technology

*Highlights of the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill, 2020

*IVF Technology and Surrogacy in India

*the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019

*Difference between the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 and Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill, 2020

*Alleged Discrimination cited in the Bill towards LGBTQIA+ and Single Men

Other Important Articles: 

The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020:

Explained: Fine-tuning the Surrogacy Bill: 

ECONOMY

Panel of secretaries to take up 5G spectrum pricing this week

Syllabus: 

Main Examination: General Studies‐III: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life, Awareness in the fields of IT

Key Points to Ponder:

*What is 5G technology

*long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks

*Spectrum Allocation and Pricing

*Role of Digital Communications Commission

*Role of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on 5G Spectrum

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic: 

Explained: What is 5G trial, and why is it important for Indian telecom companies?

Explained: What is 5G, and how prepared is India to adapt to this tech?

Oil rises as OPEC+ sticks to output hike

Syllabus: 

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies‐ II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests.

Key Points to Ponder:

*What is OPEC+

*How it is different from OPEC?

*Member Countries in OPEC and OPEC+ Grouping

*India and OPEC

MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES AND PODCASTS

Two years of pandemic: Vaccines, pills, and a mutant in perspective

After COP26, what’s the way forward for India 

R R Rashmi, former head of India’s climate change negotiating team, will discuss these and many other related questions at the Explained Live event today evening. (link is given below)

Climate Change: Is the world doing enough?

Cutting the feedback loop

Centre offers update on various environmental problems bugging India – Down To Earth Magazine

Government tells Lok Sabha it is making all-out efforts to tackle issues such as forest fires, air pollution as well as the impact of climate change on health

The Centre recently gave updates on various environmental issues in India including forest fires, air pollution and the impact of climate change on the health of citizens.

The government also listed the measures it had taken to tackle these issues.

Emissions from forest fires in India contribute a mere 1-1.5 per cent to global warming, in sharp contrast to the huge emissions from forest fires globally, the government said.

Ashwini Kr Choubey, minister of state in the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) was replying to Amar Patnaik in the Rajya Sabha December 2, 2021.

He attributed his statement to India’s third Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The MoEF&CC supported the efforts of states / Union territories to prevent and control forest fires by providing financial assistance for various forest fire prevention and management measures, Choubey added.

These measures are:

  • modern tools for fire extinguishing
  • use of communication and information technology
  • creation and maintenance of fire lines in forest areas
  • engagement of fire watchers
  • creation of water storage structures in forest areas
  • strengthening of forest infrastructure
  • procurement of firefighting equipment
  • soil and moisture conservation works in high risk areas
  • awareness creation
  • incentivising villages / communities for protection against forest fire under the Centrally Sponsored Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme

The Lancet Countdown Report 2019 highlighted that India saw an increase of over 21 million annual daily exposures to wildfires from 2001-14 to 2015-18, Choubey said.

The Government of India had also initiated the National Programme on Climate Change and Human Health, he said.

The programme aimed to reduce morbidity, mortality, injuries, and health vulnerability due to climate variability and extreme weather among Indians.

The Indian Council for Medical Research had constituted a committee to identify priority areas of research and initiated the work under three task force groups, the minister said. These were:

  • vector Borne Diseases
  • eye Health
  • respiratory Diseases

India saw an additional 45 million exposures due to heat wave events in the age group of 65 years and older in 2018, according to The Lancet Countdown Report 2019, Choubey said.

The India Meteorological Department, in collaboration with local health departments, has been implementing the Heat Action Plan since 2013 in many parts of the country to forewarn about the heat waves and also advising action to be taken during such occasions.

There was no conclusive data available to establish a direct correlation of death / disease exclusively due to air pollution in India, Choubey said.

The Government had launched the National Clean Air Programme as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution levels across the country.

City Specific Clean Air Action Plans had been prepared and rolled out for implementation in132 non-attainment and million plus cities.

These action plans focussed on city specific short / medium / long term actions to control air pollution from sources such as vehicular emission, road dust, burning of biomass / crop / garbage / municipal solid waste, landfills, construction activities, industrial emission, etc.

The Government had taken several steps for mitigation of air pollution, the minister said.

These include introduction of Bharat Stage (BS)-VI norms for fuel and vehicles since April 2020, promotion of e-vehicles, expansion of network of Metro rails for public transport, cleaner fuel such as piped natural gas, stringent emission norms for industries including coal-based thermal power plants, zig-zag technology for brick kilns, extended producer responsibility for plastic and e-waste management, real time monitoring of major industrial sectors, etc. 

Breathing fresh air into the NCR's pollution control – The Hindu

Revisiting the UN Environment Programme’s review of China’s strategy provides useful lessons for policymakers

Experts frame environmental concerns in technical terms — pollutants, their monitoring and penalties — whereas air pollution in cities is driven by urban form and transport infrastructure; solutions depend on the stage of development.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had begun the process of taking a new look at an old problem by asking the Government to list its causes. For example, there is a report that the NGT directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to modify the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) which proposes 20%-30% reduction of air pollution by 2024. But the NCAP with its ‘collaborative and participatory approach’, monitoring, targets, emergency measures and even role for international organisations has still to make an impact.

 

Just a day ago, on December 2, the Supreme Court of India asked pertinent questions: despite the compliance reports, why are the results on the ground negligible and what is the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region doing? At a hearing where the Court gave the Centre and Delhi government 24 hours to come out with suggestions to control air pollution, the Solicitor General’s response was that the Commission’s power structure needed reworking, to which an exasperated Court asked for ‘creativity’. This exchange raises the fundamental question about the role of the Commission, what it should be doing — and not just what it has done — as it has not been responding to interdependent causes driven by complex urban problems. Urban transformation is a social process (people, services, lifestyles) rather than a physical problem (congestion, technology, regulation). Therefore, the focus of the Commission has to be on how cities are organised, which in turn requires collaboration between multiple stakeholders. The challenge is to move away from solutions that merely require coordination between discrete administrative units, and enforcement taking the matter to the courts.

Lessons from Beijing

The UN Environment Programme’s review of Beijing’s control of air pollution provides useful lessons for policymakers. The population size of both cities, Beijing and Delhi, is comparable. Delhi also shares with Beijing, and other cities, the three stages in dealing with urban air pollution as a long-term task. It starts with end-of-pipe air pollution control gradually moving to integrated measures targeting primary pollutants (SO2, NO2, PM10, and CO), with the Government playing the main role. Later, secondary pollutants, or particulate matter leading to smog, primarily PM2.5, become the main focus for control with a regional coordination mechanism. The similarity ends there.

 

The review by the UN points to a management system characterised by systematic planning, strong monitoring capacity, local standards, specific enforcement mechanism and public awareness.

First, the key result area is a new model of network operation and quality control to provide early warning to effectively reduce the level of pollution under adverse weather conditions. In case of forecasted heavy pollution, warnings are issued at least 24 hours in advance through the media, in addition to daily air quality reports and forecasts.

The technical system combines high-resolution satellite remote sensing and laser radar, an integrated network combining ‘air-land’ data for quality monitoring with greater analytical capacity and over 1,000 PM2.5 sensors throughout the city to accurately identify high-emission areas and periods.

Approach to urbanisation

Second, in Beijing what really made a difference was not shutting down polluting units, restricting car ownership and travel, and improved fuel standards but the approach to urbanisation. ‘Smart cities’ such as New York, London and Beijing provide more space for public transport and mixed land use spatial planning minimising travel. The problems of Beijing and Delhi, as transit centres with no peak-hour traffic, require additional measures. Beijing’s 7th Ring Road to ease congestion is 1,000 kilometres long, and even before buildings came up, the metro link was operational.

 

Beijing already has more than 550 km of metro, more than one-and-half times that of the Delhi Metro; the plans are to have 1,000 km of metro rail. The bus transport system has 30,000 low floor buses, more than eight times the number with the Delhi Transport Corporation. In China, 72% of travel is completed by public transport compared with 37% in Japan, 17% in Europe and 10% in the U.S.

Vehicle policy

Third, when it comes to air pollution, particulate matter is the most difficult to control, leads to smog and serious health issues, and is largely caused by vehicle emissions. Traffic has been identified as a distinct and growing challenge. Systematic study on PM2.5 source apportionment in Beijing has found that local emissions constituted two-thirds of this, of which vehicle emissions were nearly half the main source. Regional transport contributes to pollution on heavily polluted days. On-road diesel vehicles formed the largest part of mobile sources, and the policy focus gradually changed from gasoline vehicle emissions to heavy-duty diesel vehicle emissions. Phasing out older vehicles made the most significant contribution. Beijing plans to have 48 lakh charging points by 2022 to push the use of electric vehicles. Delhi has nearly two times the number of registered vehicles than Beijing, increasing at a faster pace and source apportionment is still being debated.

Fourth, innovative implementation steps were instituted in Beijing. Local regulation targeted controlling both the concentration and total emission amount leading to transforming and upgrading the industrial structure production processes and equipment. Economic incentives were tailored to the specific problem, with attractive levels of subsidies to high-polluting enterprises to close their production and differentiated fees charged according to the concentration of waste gas emissions for those who chose to remain in production. Enforcement at the municipal and State levels is coordinated, with each level having different responsibilities and a mechanism for cooperation. Municipal environmental enforcement teams do specific inspections and hotspot grid supervision based on a detailed emission inventory for each source, passing on serious cases to the State level.

Lastly, independent evaluations review the air quality management system, conduct quantitative assessments of the pollution reduction effects in selected areas, analyse new challenges, and provide recommendations for enabling further improvement in air quality and building public support.

The problem in the NCR is not the peculiar mix of administrative levels. It is their common approach to air pollution with cosmetic steps, unverified claims, statistical compliance and shifting responsibility which the powerful Commission has failed to override with a joint plan to modify trends.

Mukul Sanwal is former head of the Pollution Control Division, Government of India, and Policy Adviser to the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme

Several steps being taken to help reduce air pollution levels in country: Govt – Economic Times

Several steps are being taken to help reduce air pollution levels in the country and monitoring stations have been set up in 132 cities, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav informed Rajya Sabha on Thursday. Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said the government has taken steps on changing BS4 norms in vehicles for fuel emissions to BS6 and is evolving schemes in various cities for setting up Metro rails.

“Monitoring stations have set up in 132 cities in the country to monitor air pollution and steps are being taken by the government to reduce pollution.

“The finance commission has also earmarked Rs 4400 crore for local industry to help reduce pollution at the national level,”Yadav told the house.

In Delhi where there is a lot of pollution, the Eastern Express highway and Western Express highway have been constructed to help minimise fuel consumption in vehicles, he told the members.

Diesel vehicles of over 10 years have also been prohibited in NCR Delhi, he said.

As far as industrial pollution, he said the government is enforcing stringent pollution norms for coal-based power plants.

Technology upgrade is being taken up in industrial units around NCR, especially in brick kiln industry, the minister informed, adding that the government is taking several measures to reduce industrial pollution.

In his written reply, the minister said the Government has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution levels across the country.

“City Specific Clean Air Action Plans have been prepared and rolled out for implementation in 132 non-attainment and million plus cities.

“Rs 375.44 crores have been sanctioned to non-attainment cities under NCAP for initiating actions such as expansion of monitoring network, construction and demolition waste management facilities, non-motorised transport infrastructure, green buffers, mechanical street sweepers, composting units,” he said in his written reply.

“As per the Fifteenth Finance commission recommendations ₹4400 crores have been released in the Budget of FY 2020-21 to tackle the burgeoning problem of air pollution for 42 urban centres with a million-plus population. Further, an amount of Rs 12,139 crores has been allocated for improvement of air quality for the award period FY 2021-26,” he said.

City specific action plans for improvement of air quality has been prepared and approved for implementation, he also said.

Implementation of the city specific action plans are regularly monitored by committees at central and state level namely steering committee, monitoring committee and implementation committee, he added.

Pollution Monitoring Stations In 132 Cities: Environment Minister Lists Steps Taken By Govt To Help Reduce Pollution Levels – ABP Live

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on the Delhi government and Centre over deteriorating air quality in Delhi and expressed dissatisfaction over the measures taken in the last few weeks, saying that despite the government’s claims, air pollution in the national capital has increased.

The apex Court has given a 24-hour ultimatum to Centre, Delhi government and neighboring states to take action against industrial and vehicular pollution, which is considered among the main contributors to deteriorating air quality. Delhi’s air quality has deteriorated since Diwali last month.

Meanwhile, replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav informed Rajya Sabha on Thursday that the government has set up pollution monitoring stations in 132 cities to help reduce air pollution levels in the country.

“Monitoring stations have set up in 132 cities in the country to monitor air pollution and steps are being taken by the government to reduce pollution.

“The finance commission has also earmarked Rs 4400 crore for local industry to help reduce pollution at the national level,”Yadav told the house, as per news agency PTI.

In Delhi where there is a lot of pollution, the Eastern Express highway and Western Express highway have been constructed to help minimise fuel consumption in vehicles, he told the members.

In his written reply, the minister said the Government has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution levels across the country.

“City Specific Clean Air Action Plans have been prepared and rolled out for implementation in 132 non-attainment and million plus cities.

“Rs 375.44 crores have been sanctioned to nonattainment cities under NCAP for initiating actions such as expansion of monitoring network, construction and demolition waste management facilities, non-motorised transport infrastructure, green buffers, mechanical street sweepers, composting units,” he said in his written reply.

“As per the Fifteenth Finance commission recommendations 4400 crores have been released in the Budget of FY 2020-21 to tackle the burgeoning problem of air pollution for 42 urban centres with a million-plus population. Further, an amount of Rs 12,139 crores has been allocated for improvement of air quality for the award period FY 2021-26,” he said.

(With PTI Inputs)

Several steps being taken to help reduce air pollution levels in country: Govt – Devdiscourse

Several steps are being taken to help reduce air pollution levels in the country and monitoring stations have been set up in 132 cities, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav informed Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said the government has taken steps on changing BS4 norms in vehicles for fuel emissions to BS6 and is evolving schemes in various cities for setting up Metro rails.

”Monitoring stations have been set up in 132 cities in the country to monitor air pollution and steps are being taken by the government to reduce pollution.

”The finance commission has also earmarked Rs 4400 crore for local industry to help reduce pollution at the national level,” Yadav told the house.

In Delhi where there is a lot of pollution, the Eastern Express Highway and Western Express highway have been constructed to help minimize fuel consumption in vehicles, he told the members.

Diesel vehicles of over 10 years have also been prohibited in NCR Delhi, he said.

As far as industrial pollution, he said the government is enforcing stringent pollution norms for coal-based power plants.

Technology upgrade is being taken up in industrial units around NCR, especially in the brick kiln industry, the minister informed, adding that the government is taking several measures to reduce industrial pollution.

In his written reply, the minister said the Government has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a national-level strategy to reduce air pollution levels across the country. ”City Specific Clean Air Action Plans have been prepared and rolled out for implementation in 132 non-attainment and million-plus cities.

”Rs 375.44 crores have been sanctioned to non-attainment cities under NCAP for initiating actions such as an expansion of monitoring network, construction, and demolition waste management facilities, non-motorized transport infrastructure, green buffers, mechanical street sweepers, composting units,” he said in his written reply.

”As per the Fifteenth Finance commission recommendations ₹4400 crores have been released in the Budget of FY 2020-21 to tackle the burgeoning problem of air pollution for 42 urban centers with a million-plus population. Further, an amount of Rs 12,139 crores has been allocated for improvement of air quality for the award period FY 2021-26,” he said.

City-specific action plans for improvement of air quality have been prepared and approved for implementation, he also said.

Implementation of the city-specific action plans are regularly monitored by committees at the central and state level namely steering committee, monitoring committee, and implementation committee, he added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Air pollution still severe, but situation improving since 2019: Govt to Parliament – India Today

As Delhi’s air pollution is still in the “severe” category, the matter is being debated over reasons, steps, action and its impact in the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining states. On Monday, the Supreme Court heard the matter again and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) reinforced a few measures to check air pollution in the capital.

Meanwhile, a question was asked in the Lok Sabha on Monday about the steps taken by the government and its impact. In his reply, the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, shared some facts to establish that there are some positive developments after a series of steps taken by the central government with the help of states.

ALSO READ: Delhi schools, colleges resume amid increasing pollution levels

KEY SOURCE OF POLLUTION IN DELHI-NCR

As per the government’s reply, the major sources of air pollution in Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas which aggravate during the winter due to unfavourable meteorological conditions include industrial pollution, vehicular pollution, dust from construction and demolition activities, road and open areas dust, biomass burning, stubble burning, municipal solid waste burning, fires in sanitary landfills etc.

TERI-ARAI in the year 2018 has prepared a report, which reveals that during winter months, industries contribute 27% and 30% to PM10 and PM2.5, respectively; dust (soil, road, and construction) contributes 25% and 17% to PM10 and PM2.5, respectively; and transport contributes 24% and 28% to PM10 and PM2.5, respectively.

But, with a series of steps taken by the government, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi indicates an improvement in air quality from 2019 to 2020. Days in Good, Satisfactory, and Moderate categories increased in 2020 compared to 2019.

ALSO READ: Delhi pollution: SC asks is Central Vista project construction work going on despite ban?

STEPS AND TARGET

Further, the government has enacted the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act, 2021 for better coordination, research, identification, and resolution.

Through an act of Parliament, the government enacted the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Various rules have been made under these acts. In case of violation of any of the provisions, penal provisions are there.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 2019 has launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) with targets to achieve a 20 to 30% reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024 across the country. The 15th Finance Commission also recommended focused air quality management in 42 million-plus cities/urban agglomerations.

ALSO READ: Parliamentary panel takes stock of pollution, seeks better coordination between Centre, states

STEPS TAKEN FOR DELHI-NCR

The government has been continuously taking up matters with various stakeholders, including the governments of NCR states, namely Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Punjab.

The steps taken to check alarming pollution in NCR and Delhi among other things include:

Constitution of Commission for air quality in NCR & Adjoining Area (CAQM) for improvement of Air quality in NCR Air-shed through enactment of an Act – Commission for Improvement of Air Quality in NCR & Adjoining Area Act, 2021.

Commission (CAQM) to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach among all States under NCR, including Punjab, to work in synergy with the air shed management approach for improvement of air quality.

As regard crop residue management, Ministry has convened more than 12 meetings with major Central Ministries and State Government Departments including Chief Minister and Chief Secretaries, with following objectives:

> To assess the preparedness to deal with the cause of air pollution in ensuing winter season

> To explore the use of Parali as resources in Power plants, fodder and other eco-friendly

> In-situ bio-decomposition of Parali using proven technology and a target for the year

> Installation and functioning of Centralised Control room at M/o Agriculture for monitoring the crop cutting and ex-situ and in-situ of Parali and to prevent its burning

> Task force to work out mode and means for utilizing the non-basmati Parali in Rajasthan and Gujarat

> Review of preparedness by Thermal Power Plants in NCR region by Monastery of Power

> NTPC and other plants have started using Biomass pallet as supplement to coal fuel

> Procurement of Biomass pallets for NTPC plants and mandatory raw material sourcing of 50% of paddy straw

> Daily review by Hon’ble Minister EF&CC and Secretary- EF&CC on the prevailing status of fire events and Air quality

The Supreme Court, vide its order dated 15.11.2021, directed to take effective steps to control air pollution in NCR, especially due to construction activities, industries, transport, thermal power plant etc. and also for considering ‘Work from Home’ by Central Government and State Governments/GNCTD for their offices in NCR and reviewing the status of action taken through the periodical hearing of the matter.

On Monday, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai reinforced the ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi will continue till further orders given the high air pollution levels.

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Government is taking several steps to control air pollution: Environment Minister – The Indian Awaaz

Our Correspondent / NEW DELHI

Union minister for Environment and Forest Bhupender Yadav today informed the Lok Sabha that government is taking several steps to control and minimize air pollution in the country. He said, the government has enacted the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining areas Act, 2021 for resolution of problems related to air quality in the NCR and adjoining areas.

In a written reply, Mr Yadav said, the government through act of Parliament has enacted Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1981, Environment Protection Act, 1986 for prevention, control and protection of environment.

The Minister said, government has launched National Clean Air Programme (NACP) as a national-level strategy to reduce air pollution levels across the country. He said, city specific clean air action plans have been prepared and rolled out for implementation in 132 non- attainment and million plus cities.

Mr Yadav said, over 375 crore rupees have been sanctioned to non-attainment cities under NACP for initiating actions. He informed, city-specific action plans for improvement of air quality has been prepared and approved for implementation. The Minister said, PRANA, a portal for monitoring the implementation of NACP has been launched.

Stubble burning is not the only culprit – The Statesman

Another winter is upon us and with it once again toxic smog descends across India’s capital. Over the last few weeks, Delhi’s air pollution levels fluctuated between the ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories. This is a scenario that repeats every year. Yet the administration fails to put sufficient effort into designing and implementing sustainable solutions.

As Delhi’s winter smog worsens, crop stubble burning gets the most blame. However, the rising levels of air pollution in the capital are caused by a number of factors – vehicular emissions, pollution from industry and large-scale construction activities are some of them. All the causes need to be addressed by the government if the city’s air is to become healthier.

The national capital region has the highest number of small-scale industries in India. Studies have found that industrial pollution adds as much as 19 per cent to the poor air quality. An assessment made by the Central Pollution Control Board reveals that industrial clusters in and around the city such as Wazirpur, Anand Parbat, Okhla and Naraina, are the second most polluted in India.

In the outskirts of the National Capital Region, one also finds more than 300 brick kilns. Their emissions rise during the winter months as well. Then there is the unsustainable construction activity taking place in the capital. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee reports that 30 per cent of the air pollution in Delhi is a result of dust arising from construction sites.

The construction industry fails to comply with environmental laws and the administration fails to ensure compliance. The transport sector is another major contributor to air pollution in the city. Research has found that it is the cause of 28 per cent of all PM 2.5 emissions and 80 per cent of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide in Delhi’s air.

Control and reduction of air pollution requires coordinated measures to be taken across several sectors. The national level target of 20 to 30 per cent reduction of particulate matter concentrations by 2024, proposed in the 2019 National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), cannot be achieved with current governance and targets.

And there needs to be sustainable city and regional planning. Several critically polluted areas with high air pollution scores are found not only within the National Capital Region but also in areas neighbouring it. Regional air quality management measures become imperative. Without such an approach, pollution from neighbouring areas will continue to plague Delhi.

The central government’s introduction of a carbon tax on coal led several major industries to shift to less expensive fossil fuel-based alternatives. In 2017, the Supreme Court prohibited the use of cheaper alternatives in the National Capital Region. However, these types of fuel continue to be used in neighbouring states. Emissions arising from their use continue to contribute to Delhi’s worsening air quality.

Regional level planning is vital to address the ever-growing problem of the capital’s toxic air. The steps taken by the administration have failed to address the problem. They have been piecemeal, often delayed, and implemented only after the pollution levels have already risen.

A holistic sustainable development plan needs to be implemented for the capital. This must include sustainable construction, city and road design, and an expansion of green cover. The green cover that remains in Delhi needs to be preserved, rather than being deployed to develop infrastructure and housing. Often such activities take place in violation of laws that have been adopted to protect such areas. Strict land use monitoring and legal action against violators is urgently needed.

Such measures should be complemented by reforms in the transport sector. The transition to compressed natural gas was a step forward. But the number of vehicles in the city has increased so much that this is no longer enough. The government needs to ramp up its support of electric vehicles, both for public and private transport.

Delhi’s air pollution is challenged with a number of causes and factors that must be addressed holistically. A long-term and multi-sectoral programme needs to be designed and implemented. Only then can there come winter in Delhi where the sun is not hidden behind a veil of polluted air.

(The writer is Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Jindal School of Environment and Sustainability, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat)