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Committed To Ensure Clean Air And Blue Skies To All In Country: Environment Minister

Air pollutants enter our body and cause several respiratory diseases and even heart attacks, said Ashwini Choubey, Minister of State, Environment

Committed To Ensure Clean Air And Blue Skies To All In Country: Environment Minister
  • Air, water, earth are public goods, can be saved with policies: Mr Yadav
  • We are committed to clean air for blue skies: Mr Yadav
  • Afforestation should be done more: Minister of State, Environment

New Delhi: The government Tuesday (September 9) launched a portal, PRANA, to track the progress of the National Clean Air Programme, with Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav saying the country is committed to ensure clean air and blue skies to everybody. During the launch event held at the ministry headquarters here on the occasion of International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies’, Mr Yadav also inaugurated a smog tower at Anand Vihar, saying it was an experimental technology and its impact will be observed for two years. “India is committed to ensure clean air and blue skies to all the people of the country, assuring them a healthy and productive life,” Mr Yadav said during the event.

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The minister said that in 2018, out of 132 cities, only six had particulate matter (PM) concentration less than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which increased to 11 cities in 2019 and 28 in 2020. He said 86 cities have showed better air quality in 2019 in comparison to 2018, which increased to 104 cities in 2020.

We must look into how policy intervention can help address the issue of air pollution. Air, water, earth are all public goods which can be saved with preventive policies. We are launching the PRANA portal and installing smog tower at Anand Vihar in Delhi. This smog tower is an experiment to see if the technology can be used in the future and reduce pollution. We are committed to clean air for blue skies, Mr Yadav said.

Speaking at the event, MoS, Environment, Ashwini Choubey said a day like International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies is marked/celebrated only when the situation is grave.

International day of a situation is celebrated only when the situation is grave. We will celebrate International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on September 7 every year. Air pollutants enter our body and cause several respiratory diseases and even heart attacks. Afforestation should be done more and there is a need to save trees to improve the air quality, he said.

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The event was attended by Central Pollution Control Board Chairman Tanmay Kumar. Ministry of Environment’s Joint Secretary Naresh Gangwar said rapid urbanisation has increased the challenge of air pollution manifold. The smog tower was to be installed in 10 months, as directed by the Supreme Court, post which performance of the tower was to be evaluated for two years.

However, due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry sought three months extension from the court. The smog tower at Anand Vihar ISBT (pollution hotspot) has been constructed by the Tata Projects Limited (TPL) with the technical support from IIT Mumbai. IIT Mumbai in collaboration with IIT Delhi will validate the performance of the tower. NBCC India Ltd. has been appointed as the project management consultant (PMC) and is supervising the work of TPL.

The tower, proposed by IIT Bombay, is of downdraft (polluted air comes in from the top of the tower and clean air comes out of the bottom) type for localized reduction of PM2.5 and PM10. An Advisory Committee, headed by the CPCB chairman, and comprising experts from IITs, the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Engineers India Limited (EIL), NTPC Ltd. and NBCC India Ltd. has also been constituted to oversee the progress, review the performance and guide on improvement and optimisation.

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

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. 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 highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. 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 become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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