Key to NCAP is civil so­ci­ety en­gage­ment

Green

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Nation Myfirstvote -

NEWDELHI: This week, In­dia got its Na­tional Clean Air Plan, the NCAP. Two things struck me. The first, in Sec­tion 7.1.16, it speaks of in­ter­na­tional co-op­er­a­tion, both tech­nol­ogy trans­fer and in­for­ma­tion. This is cru­cial -we are hit as a re­gion. Think of pol­lu­tion’s im­pact not only on In­dian chil­dren, but also those in Nepal.

While trans­bound­ary co-op­er­a­tion is use­ful, the case of In­dia shows that civil so­ci­ety en­gage­ment is key. In­dia’s doc­tors, for ex­am­ple, have been able to bring to the pub­lic the im­pact of air pol­lu­tion. For these rea­sons, the global en­gage­ment must also for­mally be at civil so­ci­ety’s level.

Sec­ond, the plan has iden­ti­fied var­i­ous gov­ern­ment mis­sions which will re­ori­ent them­selves to keep air pol­lu­tion in their am­bit, and use their funds for NCAP ob­jec­tives too. Smart cities is one case in point. The chal­lenge now is to train city man­agers so they un­der­stand air pol­lu­tion. Many cities have made their plans, so we can­not change those. In­stead, we have to help them add on air pol­lu­tion abate­ment. While smart cities cov­ers only 43 of the 102 cities listed for ac­tion in the NCAP, across the var­i­ous mis­sions, key de­ci­sion mak­ers must be told about the fun­da­men­tals of air pol­lu­tion to fight it ef­fec­tively.

Both these as­pects of NCAP re­quire a fun­da­men­tal re­ori­en­ta­tion in its im­ple­men­ta­tion. It can­not be busi­ness as usual within one min­istry. Its suc­cess de­pends on learn­ing to work dif­fer­ently, and re­ori­ent­ing pol­icy im­ple­men­ta­tion. It’s a test for ev­ery­one -mostly that of our abil­ity to sur­vive this killer phe­nom­e­non.

BHARATI CHATURVEDI

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