17 states have no action plan against air pollution, reveals RTI | Nagpur News - Times of India

17 states have no action plan against air pollution, reveals RTI | Nagpur News - Times of India

17 states have no action plan against air pollution, reveals RTI | Nagpur News - Times of India

RTI reponse highlighted that actions planned at city-levels are based on ‘unscientific approaches’ NAGPUR: This winter too, citizens in most part of the country will be breathing toxic air , with 17 states not even having a plan in place to beat air pollution , reveal documents procured under the Right to Information ( RTI ) Act.

Analysis of crucial documents by not-for-profit organization Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE) reveals that the state-level intervention — drafting and implementing action plans under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) — has not been initiated. NCAP was launched in 2019 for improving air quality across 102 polluted cities in the country.

While the analysis found that no steps by either central or state authorities have been taken for formulating the plans, it further highlighted that actions planned at city-levels are based on “unscientific approaches”, by not considering rural air pollution or local pollution sources.

As per the RTI documents, 17 states have not formulated the air action plans, the deadline for which was 2020. “From the response it is clear that none of the states were even aware that state action plan had to be prepared. This leaves most of the polluted cities and landscapes out of the scope of implementing mitigation measures,” the analysis stated.

City-wise review reveals that the plans for Ghaziabad and Noida, both large metropolitan areas, are nearly identical. “Same actions have been given for the two cities, which means that their specific pollution profiles have not been taken into account at all. Both plans lack specific targets for pollution,” read the analysis.

Similarly in Guwahati, the plan restricts itself to the city boundaries, even though the Kamrup district and adjoining districts of Meghalaya are pollution hotspots, being centres for industrial and mining activity. “Kolkata’s action plan misses the opportunity to capitalise on the pre-existing tram rail system, which is an emission-free mode of public transport,” the analysis stated.

It further mentioned, “In the case of Pune, the neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad region is home to many polluting industries, emissions from which directly pollute Pune’s air but are not addressed in the action plan.”

Stating that each and every component of NCAP till date has been an utter failure, managing trustee of LIFE Ritwick Dutta said, “The fact that none of the state governments or even the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is aware of the statutory requirement of state action plan reflects the casual approach of all authorities. There is a need for a thorough independent review of what has happened in the last two-and-half years of implementation of NCAP.”

On air quality monitoring programme, Sunil Dahiya, analyst with Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), said, “It is a sad truth that the manually monitored air quality data from most of the existing 800 stations have not been made available by the states concerned in a transparent manner.”

Dahiya added, “It becomes important to establish more real-time and transparent data collection and sharing protocols, which can only be possible with an extensive network of continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations spread across the width of the country.” Source:timesofindia

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