The National Clean Air Program, launched in 2019, is being implemented in 132 target cities, and does not comply with national ambient air quality standards consecutively for five years.

Federal Environment Minister Bhubandar Yadav on Friday said the government is committed to ensuring clean air and healthy life for all residents of the country and emphasized that the fight against air pollution needs collective action in the coming years.

Speaking at the first meeting of the Supreme National Committee under the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), which was held in the hybrid mode, Yadav said, since different cities have a different set of factors that contribute to air pollution in that region, so the focus on the field of Air is important.

He chaired the first meeting of the Summit Committee of the National Clean Air Program. India has been at the forefront of adopting a policy approach that places the utmost importance on environmental conservation. Emphasize that the clean air mission should become a movement,” he tweeted.

The Minister expressed his satisfaction with the increase in the number of cities showing better air quality to 96 cities in 2020 from 86 cities in 2019, saying: “The air quality improvement efforts taken in recent years have shown positive trends in achieving better air quality, however, There is a lot to be done and the need of the hour is to address the issue of air pollution in a comprehensive manner in coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders.”

The meeting of the committee was also attended by Federal State Minister for Environment Ashwini Kumar Chobe, Environment Minister RP Gupta, CPCB Chairman Tanmay Kumar and other senior officials of the ministry.

The National Clean Air Programme, launched in 2019, is being implemented in 132 target cities, non-compliant with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for five consecutive years.

Of the 132, 124 cities comprise 34 million cities (MPCs)/urban agglomerations identified by the 15th Financial Commission (XV-FC).

An additional eight million cities are covered by the XV-FC grant to receive performance-based grants to improve air quality, which the program also covers.

The NCAP program focuses on the preparation and implementation of National Action Plans, State Level Action Plans, and City Level Action Plans in 132 target cities.

The Ministry of Environment said that under the National AIDS Action Program, the steering committee at the center level, the monitoring committee and the implementation committee have been formed, and a periodic review of the implementation progress is also being conducted.

She added that so far, seven executive committees, five monitoring committees and three meetings of the steering committee have been held.

“Under the NCAP, Rs 375.44 crore was made available during 2019-2020 to take over air quality improvement activities in unreached cities and Rs 290 crore was provided for 82 cities for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

“The program has Rs 700 crore allotment for 2021-2026. Moreover, the 15th Finance Committee has made a special grant of Rs 4,400 crore to 42 million plus cities/urban agglomerations for the 2020-2021 financial year. An amount of Rs 12,139 crore has been allocated to improve the quality of air for 42 million plus cities/urban agglomerations for the period from 2021-2022 to 2025-26, the ministry said.

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