4 int’l agen­cies to help In­dia tackle toxic air in 102 cities

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION - Vishwa.Mo­han @times­group.com

New Delhi: Delhi’s toxic air may be hog­ging the head­lines, but there is lit­tle doubt the prob­lem is pan-In­dia. Un­der­lin­ing the ur­gent need to ad­dress the prob­lem, In­dia has sealed a deal with four global agen­cies, in­clud­ing the World Bank and Ger­man de­vel­op­ment agency (GIZ), to build ca­pac­i­ties of all 102 pol­luted cities across the coun­try.

The Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB) and Bloomberg Phi­lan­thropies are the other two agen­cies which will help states com­bat air pol­lu­tion work­ing in four dif­fer­ent geo­graph­i­cal ar­eas. “We have fi­nalised the agree­ments with these four agen­cies. They will ex­tend tech­ni­cal sup­port and help states in build­ing ca­pac­i­ties of their re­spec­tive cities. Each agency will be ear­marked a geo­graph­i­cal area,” Union en­vi­ron­ment sec­re­tary CK Mishra told TOI.

The new Na­tional Clean Air Pro­gramme (NCAP) with cer­tain broad time-lines to re­duce emis­sion in these cities is ex­pected to be an­nounced soon. It will be a long term na­tional level strat­egy to tackle air pol­lu­tion across the coun­try in com­pre­hen­sive man­ner. Tack­ling pol­lu­tion from var­i­ous sources, in­creas­ing num­ber of manual air qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing sta­tions, ex­pand­ing net­work of the Con­tin­u­ous Am­bi­ent Air Qual­ity Mon­i­tor­ing Sta­tions and set­ting up of Air In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre for data anal­y­sis, in­ter­pre­ta­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion through GIS plat­forms will be among the key com­po­nents.

It will have a mech­a­nism to de­velop a pub­lic griev­ance re­dres­sal por­tal for han­dling pub­lic com­plaints. The cities will de­velop in­fra­struc­ture to re­port air pol­lu­tion.

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