- The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was in India for a two-day visit
- India and Netherlands promised to cooperate on tackling air pollution
- Netherlands will also assist tanneries in UP to become eco-friendly
New Delhi: With global cooperation becoming increasingly necessary to tackle air pollution and strengthen waste management, India recently found a new ally in Netherlands. The visit of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to India on May 24 saw the two countries discussing on cooperation in a variety of fields, which included tackling air pollution and managing waste. Along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Dutch PM launched the ‘Clean India Air Initiative’ in Delhi. The campaign will look to curb air pollution in India by promoting collaboration between India based startups and Dutch companies, to provide corporate solutions for cleaner air.
Air pollution in India has been a major environmental concern. From vehicular emissions to widespread dust, there is no dearth of reasons for India’s poor air quality. Efforts like the National Clean Air Programme, which aims to take stock of nationwide air pollution, will take a few years to become effective in reducing air pollution. The collaboration with the Dutch government is an effort to strengthen infrastructure on combating air pollution in India. Dutch firms will collaborate with Indian startups in the sales of equipment needed to tackle air pollution, such as air pollution sensors. The two countries will also engage in exchange of data on air pollution and solutions related to monitoring of air quality. The low availability of data on air pollution in India remains one of the key hindrances to tackling air pollution in the country.
Held extensive talks with PM Mark Rutte. We discussed India-Netherlands cooperation in a wide range of areas including trade, energy, food processing, science and technology. @MinPres pic.twitter.com/byrPtZ8dU5
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 24, 2018
Discussing technological cooperation between the two countries, the issue of stubble burning was also discussed extensively. Stubble burning in parts of Punjab, Haryana and other north Indian states is a major contributor to air pollution. The collaboration between Indian and Dutch companies will look to upcycle agricultural waste. Agricultural waste will be used as raw material in the construction and packaging industry, key collaboration field Dutch companies are interested in when it comes to investment in India.
Apart from air pollution, India and Netherlands also agreed to cooperate and work together towards technological developments in the fields of solid waste and waste water. Both the governments have committed to assist the tanneries in Kanpur and Unnao to adopt eco-friendly technologies with respect to management of waste generated in them, as well as water conservation during the day-to-day activities of the tanneries. Both the countries commended the Indo-Dutch research on using water in cities, exchange of information on modeling of water flow in rivers and re-use of liquid waste as a form of waste to wealth transition.