Air Pollution: Niti Aayog Proposes 15-Point Action Plan To Improve Air Quality In 10 Most Polluted Cities

Air Pollution: Niti Aayog Proposes 15-Point Action Plan To Improve Air Quality In 10 Most Polluted Cities

The draft action plan titled 'Breathe India' includes encouraging electric vehicles, phasing out private diesel vehicle and development of crop residue utilisation policy
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Air Pollution: Niti Aayog comes up with an action plan for 10 most polluted cities in IndiaAir Pollution: Niti Aayog comes up with an action plan for 10 most polluted cities in India

New Delhi: Niti Aayog has proposed 15-point action plan for combating air pollution in ten most polluted cities in the country, including Delhi, Kanpur and Varanasi.

The draft action plan titled ‘Breathe India’ includes encouraging electric vehicles, phasing out private diesel vehicle and development of crop residue utilisation policy.

According to a recent WHO database (2018), Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Varanasi, Agra, Gurgaon, Muzaffarpur, Lucknow and Patna are the top ten most polluted cities in India.

Last month, air quality of Delhi had deteriorated beyond severe level because of a ground-level dust storm in western India, as per the Central Pollution Control Board data.

Every year, air quality of Delhi plummets to very poor levels during winter season.

The action plan also includes expediting strategic decommissioning of old and inefficient power plants and implementation of a large scale feebate programme from 2020 onwards.

Also Read: Air Pollution: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Urges Farmers To Avail Centre’s Schemes And Stop Stubble Burning

Increase distribution of electric and hybrid vehicles: This should be carried out through necessary financial measures and infrastructural support. The procurement of electric vehicles (EVs) should be mandatory for vehicles for Central Government use and certain public facilities.

“All central government offices should replace existing fleets older than 15 years to electric vehicles in the next 3 years i.e. by 2021 April,” the draft paper said.

It also pitched for encouraging electric two and three-wheelers, saying a scheme to convert existing ICE (internal combustion engine) autos into electric ones either by retrofitting or by discounting the residual value of the existing auto from a new electric auto should be launched.

Also Read: Van Mahotsav: Delhi To Have A Wall Of 31 Lakh Trees Around It To Shield It From Dust Storms

“Additional incentives like free registration and ease of getting permits for electric 2 wheelers and 3 wheelers should be immediately notified by MoRTH. In addition, all public transportation and 3 wheelers should adopt ZEVs (zero emission vehicles) by 2020,” the paper suggested.

The report also said there is need to enact strong measures to curb vehicular emissions.”Prohibit transition traffic in these cities and phase out private diesel vehicles by 2022,” it suggested.

The paper also favoured for implementing a large scale feebate programme from 2020 onwards.

A feebate is a policy by which inefficient or polluting vehicles incur a surcharge (fee), while efficient ones receive a rebate (bate).

Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Ontario (Canada) and Singapore have introduced variations of feebates.

The paper also suggested for ensuring high grade low polluting coal to the power plant, implementing a National Emissions Trading System, adopting cleaner construction practice and implementing a business model to utilise crop residue and an integrated waste management policy.

It also called for concerted action from all levels of governance, cutting across ministries and departments.

Also Read: India’s Clean Air Action Programme Yet To See The Light Of Day: Greenpeace

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