Indian Govt Allocates 4,400 Crores Budget to Curb Air Pollution
Acknowledging the serious health threats posed by the polluted air in the major cities of the country, a budget of Rs 4,400 crores has been allocated to curb air pollution. While presenting the budget for the financial year 2020-21, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated the amount to encourage the states to formulate necessary strategies to combat the deteriorating air quality.
Since November 2019, Delhi and other major cities have been pestered by severe air pollution. Due to this, the authorities had to declare a health emergency in the national capital, halt construction activities, shut down the schools, and restrict the use of cars.
The government proposes to encourage such states that are formulating and implementing plans for ensuring cleaner air in cities above one million. Parameters for the incentives would be notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change. Allocation for this purpose is ₹4,400 crore for 2020-21.
She further said that old thermal plants that are violating emission norms will be closed. The minister detailed the government’s plan to shut down old, polluting power plants.
For such power plants, we propose that utilities running them would be advised to close them, if their emission is above the pre-set norms. The land so vacated can be put to alternative use,
Last year, the government had launched a five-year National Clean Air Action Plan to make a 20-30 percent reduction in the concentration of particulate matter 10 and 2.5 by 2024. The plan was to primarily focus on 102 cities with consistent poor air quality than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
As it was necessary to have a significant investment for the transition to clean fuel, the central government has allotted a large sum to handle this situation.
According to the finance minister, many steps under the 2015 Paris Agreement would be put in motion from January 1, 2021. She also said that the country would execute all its climate action targets under the Paris Agreement under the normal budgetary provisions.
Via: Live Mint