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International Day of Clean Air For Blue Skies

  • 08 Sep 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has organised a webinar on the occasion of the first-ever International Day of Clean Air For Blue Skies.

  • In December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to observe this day on 7th September every year, starting from 2020.
  • The Day aims to demonstrate the close link of air quality to other environmental/developmental challenges and raise public awareness related to air quality at all levels.

Key Points

  • Indian Government’s Efforts:
    • It is committed to reducing the air pollution level in 122 most polluted cities.
    • In 2014, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was launched which currently tracks the levels of pollution on eight parameters.
      • These parameters are ground-level ozone, Particulate Matter (PM) 10, PM 2.5, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia and lead.
      • Ground-level ozone and airborne particles are the two pollutants that pose the greatest threat to human health in India.
    • The Prime Minister in his Independence day speech also highlighted the issue of air pollution and put across the goal of holistic improvement in air quality in 100 cities by drawing up micro-plans to target hotspots.
    • A brochure on Integrated Measures to Combat Air Pollution under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) has been launched in the webinar.
      • In January 2019, NCAP was launched to tackle the problem of air pollution in a comprehensive manner with a target to achieve 20 to 30% reduction in PM 10 and PM 2.5 concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year.
    • India has migrated to BS-VI standards, quality petrol and diesel, which is an important initiative to fight against pollution.
      • The Bharat Stage (BS) are emission standards instituted by the Government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.
      • The Environment Ministry is responsible for deciding the fuel standard in the country. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) implements these standards.
  • Suggestions for Improvement:
    • States must work with city-specific plans, as every city has a different source of pollution.
      • A city is not equally polluted in all areas so the most effective way to reduce air pollution in cities is to identify the hotspots and then disburse funds for solutions in these identified areas.
    • Use of electric vehicles must be encouraged and the public transport should be modernised.
    • Augmenting waste management infrastructure, paving roads to make them dust free and imposing stringent norms on industry and ensuring that they switch to cleaner fuels.
    • People's participation is a must to clean the air. Car-pooling and use of public transport must be promoted.

Source: PIB

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