Environment ministry signs MoU with 132 cities under clean air programme

Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change today signed a memorandum of understanding with 132 cities towards execution of planned actions in time bound manner under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

The signing of MoUs under NCAP will add a new dimension to checking pollution in the country, union minister of evironment, forest and climate change Prakash Javadekar said. He also called on state governments and all concerned to work together for improving air quality in the country in mission mode.
The MoU was signed 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 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 realising 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 per cent in the next 4 years in over 100 cities… it is not an easy task but a tough challenge which we all need to achieve together," the minister said.
As a first step 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 6,000 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 per cent to 30 per cent 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, he said. Adding that the MoU will facilitate smooth and binding execution of planned actions in timely 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 in conducting air quality researches.