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    96 Cities See Improved Air Quality As Government Takes Steps To Check Pollution: Economic Survey 2022

    The number of cities within the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standard (PM10 less than 60 μg/m3) increased from 18 in 2019-20 to 27 in 2020-21, noted Economic Survey 2021-22

    96 Cities See Improved Air Quality As Government Takes Steps To Check Pollution: Economic Survey 2022
    The Economic Survey 2021-22 was released ahead of Union Budget 2022
    • 96 cities showed a declining trend of PM10 concentration in 2020-21: Survey
    • 36 cities showed an upward trend in PM10 concentration in 2020-2021: Survey
    • The country has leapfrogged from BS-IV to BS-VI norms for fuel and vehicles

    New Delhi: As many as 96 cities across the country have witnessed an improvement in the air quality with the government taking a host of measures, including steps to curtail vehicular emissions, Economic Survey 2021-22 said on Monday (January 31). The government has approved Phase-II of FAME scheme with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for a period of five years commencing from April 1, 2019 as part of its efforts to promote electric vehicle adoption and reduce air pollution, the Survey noted.

    Also Read: Economic Survey 2022 On Health, Hygiene, Sanitation And Climate Change

    Out of total budgetary support, about 86 per cent of fund has been allocated for demand incentive so as to create demand for electric vehicles (EVs) in the country, it added.

    This phase aims to generate demand by way of supporting 7,090 e-buses, 5 lakh e-3 wheelers, 55,000 e-4 wheeler passenger cars (including strong hybrid) and 10 lakh e-2 wheelers, the Economic Survey stated.

    Permit requirement for electric vehicles has been removed, it added.

    As a result of these initiatives, 96 cities showed a decreasing trend of PM10 concentration in 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20. The number of cities within the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standard (PM10 less than 60 μg/m3) also increased from 18 in 2019-20 to 27 in 2020-21, it noted.

    However, air pollution remains a major concern, with 36 cities showing an increasing trend in PM10 concentration in 2020-2021 as compared to 2019-2020, it added.

    Also Read: Climate Change And Clean Air Initiatives: What To Expect From Budget 2022

    Listing other measures taken to curtail vehicular emissions, the Survey noted that the country has leapfrogged from BS-IV to BS-VI norms for fuel and vehicles since April 2020. Besides, metro rail networks for public transport have been enhanced and more cities covered, it added.

    Cleaner/alternate fuels like CNG, LPG and ethanol blending in petrol have been introduced, the Economic Survey stated.

    The government has also brought in stringent emission norms for coal-based thermal power plants, it stated.

    Besides, there is ban on use of imported pet coke in the country since July 2018, with exception for permitted processes, it said.

    Also Read: Recap 2021: The Reality Of Climate Crisis And Action Against Climate Change

    Online continuous emission monitoring devices have been installed in highly polluting industries and brick kilns have been shifted to zig-zag technology to reduce pollution, the Survey noted.

    The government has also notified six waste management rules covering solid waste, plastic waste, e-waste, bio-medical waste, construction and demolition, waste and hazardous waste, it said.

    Besides, extended producer responsibility for plastic and e-waste management has been introduced, it added.

    Also, burning of biomass/garbage has been banned, the Survey noted.

    Also Read:Decrease In Air Pollution In India During Lockdown Not As High As Thought: Study

    (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

    NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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