Government organizes Swachh Vayu Diwas on the occasion of International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

Union Minister Bhupender Yadav reiterates the importance of LiFE Mission

Environment and Development are complementary to each other: Yadav

Delhi, Sept 8
Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change organized 3rd International Day of Clean Air for blue skies as ‘Swachh Vayu Diwas (“Swachh Vayu Neel Gagan”)’on Wednesday to raise awareness and facilitate actions to improve air quality under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

The event was graced by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav, and Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister Shri Bhupender Yadav also released brochures on Capacity building and public outreach under NCAP with best practices in eight cities: Srinagar (All Hands on Board), Varanasi (Nothing goes to waste), Bengaluru (Clean Road, Clean City), Pune (The Right Drive), Hyderabad (The Green Way), Akola (Water Woes), Thootukudi (Treasure from Trash) and Lucknow (Under Control).

In his address, Shri Yadav said that when we commenced the Clean Air Mission program last year, it was our endeavor to work on it from the grassroot level as the topic of clean air is a matter of priority for the government. He stressed on promoting and utilizing the wisdom of even the common people.

Shri Yadav reiterated that the LiFE mission stated by the Prime Minister at COP 26 in Glasgow, needs to be taken forward not only across the country but all over the world. The meaning of LiFE Mission is that there should be a mindful utilization of resources.

The Minister stated that what we aim for in the National Clean Air Mission program is to address the problems of air pollution at the regional level keeping in mind the peculiarities of different regions. The solutions to this issue have to be socio– economic. In National Clean Air Mission program, new start ups should be promoted to work towards innovative solutions, said the Minister.

Shri Yadav stressed that we want this innovation to become a movement. Therefore, the arrangement of funding in the program of NCAP has also been made on the basis that those who have good performance should also be rewarded. At NCAP, we are continuously working on regional workshops, he added. National Clean Air Programme has created awareness by bringing out a portal. They are collaborating with the State Pollution Control Board. Along with this, a bill that was passed last year was a new legislative change in itself for Delhi, in which the Trans Boundary Mandate has been given.

Shri Yadav stressed on making the local people aware about the natural heritage. We feel that environment and development are not antagonistic but complementary to each other. We will be able to fulfil our goals only by adopting scientific attitude and knowledge and giving a dignified life to every person, , he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS MoEFCC said that Swachh Pawan Neel Gagan that has completed its three years needs to be passed on to the future generations.. The problem of air pollution is not only in our country but all over the world, he said. The world is now looking at India to see what our policy will be in this matter. Efforts need to be made on this issue from the ministry level to the panchayat level, he added.

The event was joined by Smt. Leena Nandan, Secretary, MoEFCC, Dr M. M. Kutty, Chairperson, Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), Shri Tanmay Kumar, Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board, Shri Naresh Pal Gangwar, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC, Environment and Urban Development Departments of State Government/UT administrations, State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committees, Integrated Regional Offices of MoEFCC, regional directorates of CPCB and 131 City administrations.

United Nations General Assembly has designated 7th September as the “International Day of Clean Air for blue skies” with an aim to raise awareness and to promote actions to improve air quality. This year, it raises awareness on the urgency of strengthening national action and regional collaboration to improve air quality, with the global theme of “The Air We Share”.

The event presented an opportunity to share success stories of National Clean Air Programme, an initiative launched in January, 2019 taking forward the commitment made by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address to Nation on Independence Day to ensure Clean Air for All, healthy and productive life for citizens, and the intent to improve air quality in more than 100 cities through holistic approach.

National Clean Air Programme aims at improving air quality by reducing Particulate Matter concentrations by 20-30% in 131 cities in the country. It includes 123 Non-Attainment Cities (NAC) which exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for 5 consecutive years and 42 Million Plus Population Cities/Urban Agglomerations. 34 cities are common in both categories.

131 cities of the country have developed City Action Plans and Micro Action Plans to address various sources contributing to poor air quality such as vehicles, road dust, construction, industries, thermal power plants, burning of waste, Construction and Demolition Waste, etc. There has been an overall improvement in Particulate Matter concentration in 95 cities including 20 cities conforming to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in the year 2021-22 compared to 2017.

Reporting and monitoring of physical and financial progress of action plans is done through PRANA portal (Portal for Regulation of Air Pollution in Non-attainment Cities).

During the event on Swachh Vayu Diwas, MoEFCC has released the following:

Guidelines on Capacity Building and Outreach programmes to be conducted at National, State and City level, help in mobilising stakeholders at all levels to promote actions to improve air quality.
Guidelines for release and utilization of funds under NCAP;
XV Finance Commission Operational guidelines for implementation of recommendations for air quality component
Best Practices and success stories of 8 cities under NCAP (Pune and Bangalore on sustainable transport curbing vehicular emissions; Srinagar, Tuticorin, &Varanasi on solid waste management, Akola on sewage management, Hyderabad on developing 33% greenery to act as carbon sink, Lucknow for Integrated Control and Command Centre monitoring). These best practices help in adopting sustainable approaches by other cities for improvement of air quality


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