No funds for Delhi under clean air programme

Despite being among the most polluted capital cities in the world, Delhi hasn’t been allotted funds under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), an initiative launched by the Centre to reduce air pollution in 102 cities by 2024.

In response to a query from Prabhat Jha, BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh, on details of the NCAP, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar gave a statement describing funds allotted to cities. Of the 102 cities, that have been identified as the most polluted and submitted voluntary emission reduction plans, funds allotted for 90 cities were provided. Delhi wasn’t on the list.

A senior official in the Delhi government, who did not want to be identified, confirmed to The Hindu that no funds were allocated to Delhi under the NCAP. A senior official in the Union Environment Ministry, who also declined to be identified, said that funds for Delhi were available through multiple Ministries. “Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has a budget of ₹206 crore for pollution.” However, Delhi is one among the 102 most polluted cities as per the NCAP document.

Budget allocation

In the Union Budget this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had allocated ₹406 crore for NCAP.

The 102 non-attainment cities have been identified under NCAP based on the ambient air quality data for the period 2011-2015 and WHO report 2014-2018.

Of the 102 cities, for 28 of them with million-plus population and air quality of PM10 > 90ug/m³, the Union Environment Ministry is providing ₹10 crore fund in the current year.

“For the remaining non-attainment cities, a funding of ₹10 lakh per city for those with a population of less than five lakh and ₹20 lakh per city for those with a population of five to 10 lakh have been sanctioned,” according to the reply.

The 28 priority cities are: Vijayawada, Chandigarh, Raipur, Bhilai, Surat, Ahmedabad, Dhanbad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Mumbai, Nagpur, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Kolkata, Patna, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi.

The funds were released for various components, which include installation and commissioning of continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS), creating green buffer zone along the roads, mechanical street sweepers, mobile enforcement unit, public awareness and capacity building activities and water sprinklers.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 9:48:55 PM |

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