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Biodiversity & Environment

Breathe India

  • 12 Jul 2018
  • 2 min read

Recently the NITI Aayog proposed a 15-point action plan titled “Breathe India” for combating air pollution in ten most polluted cities in the country, including Delhi, Kanpur and Varanasi.

  • According to a recent WHO database (2018), Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Varanasi, Agra, Gurgaon, Muzaffarpur, Lucknow, Delhi and Patna are the top ten most polluted cities in India.
  • Major Suggestions:
  • Electrify last mile connectivity by 2022, including public transport, taxis and three-wheelers.
  • Prohibit transition traffic in these cities.
  • Phase out private diesel vehicles by 2022.  
  • Survey and analyse power plants around the most polluted cities to prioritise their decommissioning in the next five years.
  • Revamp the regulatory framework around industrial air pollution.
  • Implement a National Emissions Trading System based on the concept of ‘polluters pay’.
  • Establish smog-free towers at all major construction sites by 2019.
  • Incentivise procurement and utilization of crop residue.
  • Implement a policy on landfill taxes and incentivize waste processing over landfilling by 2019.
  • Mandate compulsory mechanized dust removal in the most polluted cities by 2019.
  • Integrate Efforts to Tackle Forest Fires.
  • Implement a policy on mandatory use of cleaner forms of cooking to reduce indoor air pollution.
  • Develop stakeholder-specific awareness campaigns in these cities to ensure that all participants are aware of the impacts of air pollution and the repercussions of engaging in pollution-causing activities.
  • Define city-level plans with clear timelines and emission targets across various sources of pollution (construction, vehicular, indoor) by the end of 2018.
  • Establish accurate and comprehensive air quality monitoring systems in the worst affected cities by 2019.
  • It has suggested the policy towards air pollution adopted in many European countries, i.e. implementation of a large-scale feebate programme from 2020 onwards. (Feebate is a policy by which inefficient or polluting vehicles incur a surcharge (fee), while efficient ones receive a rebate (bate)).

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