New Delhi, Sep 7 (UNI) Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on Monday appealed to the states to increase their environment budget, in view of reducing pollution and asked people to support the cause. Speaking at a webinar on the first-ever International Day of Clean Air For Blue Skies, Mr Javadekar said the government is committed to reduce the Air pollution level in 122 most polluted cities across the country.
Underscoring the problem of Air Pollution, the Environment Minister said that in 2014, the government launched the Air Quality Index (AQI) monitoring and today, they were tracking the levels of Pollution on eight parameters.
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing the issue of Air Pollution in his Independence Day Speech and putting across the goal of Holistic improvement in Air Quality in 100 cities.
He said people must join in this initiative to bring down air pollution and opt for electric vehicles, and travel via
public transport, instead of private.
The Minister said that with the country now having migrated to BS-VI standards, quality petrol and diesel is provided in the country, which is an important initiative to fight against pollution.
He said in the last few years, roads and highways are being constructed by the government at a record pace and as a result, less pollution is taking place, in comparison to previous times.
He also said that overall usage of electric vehicles must be encouraged in states, as every city has different source of pollution.
Mr Javadekar further said that Brick kilns in various states should adopt a zig zag technology to reduce the pollution emerging out of them.
The Union Minister said that people’s participation is must to clean the air. Car-pooling and use of public transport must be promoted, he added.
In January last year, the Environment Ministry had launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) to tackle the problem of air pollution in a comprehensive manner, with a target to achieve 20-30 per cent reduction in PM 10 and PM 2.5 concentrations by 2024, keeping 2017 as base year.
The plan identified earlier 102 non-attainment cities, across 23 States and Union Territories, 20 more non-attainment cities have been included under NCAP, based on the latest data trend on air quality.
The webinar, which was organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on the occasion of first-ever International Day of Clean Air For Blue Skies, was attended by Principal Secretaries of the Urban Development Department and Environment Department of 28 states and eight Union Territories.
Commissioners of 122 cities, as identified in the NCAP programme, also participated and put forth their experiences and best practices.