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Bhupender Yadav Advocates for Stronger Partnerships, Increased Investment, and Shared Responsibility in Combating Air Pollution

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment, Bhupender Yadav, announced the Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan 2023 awards today in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The awards highlight the critical need for collective action to combat air pollution.

Shivam Dwivedi
Bhupender Yadav Advocates for Stronger Partnerships, Increased Investment, and Shared Responsibility in Combating Air Pollution (Photo Source: PIB)
Bhupender Yadav Advocates for Stronger Partnerships, Increased Investment, and Shared Responsibility in Combating Air Pollution (Photo Source: PIB)

Union Minister Bhupender Yadav launched the Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan 2023 awards in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, as a key step toward solving the worsening air pollution situation in India. The prizes honor municipal efforts to enhance environmental sustainability and air quality.

Acknowledging Excellence in Air Quality Improvement

In the category of cities with a population of over one million, Indore emerged as the frontrunner, with Agra and Thane following closely. Among cities with populations ranging from three to ten lakhs, Amravati secured the top position, trailed by Moradabad and Guntur. In the category of cities with less than three lakhs in population, Parwanoo clinched the first rank, with Kala Amb and Angul securing second and third places, respectively. The ceremony saw the presence of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, underscoring the importance of the occasion.

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

Minister Yadav emphasized the significance of this year's Swachh Vayu Diwas, celebrated as the 4th International Day of Clean Air for blue skies. The global theme, "Together for Clean Air," highlights the need for stronger partnerships, increased investments, and shared responsibilities in the fight against air pollution.

Yadav recalled that on August 15, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a commitment to ensure clean air for all citizens, outlining a comprehensive plan to improve air quality in over 100 cities through a holistic approach. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has since been actively implementing the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) since 2019.

The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

NCAP is a national-level strategy aimed at reducing air pollution levels in Indian cities and regions. It brings together all stakeholders to ensure effective action. Yadav revealed that 131 cities have been identified for the implementation of city-specific action plans under this program. These plans encompass national, state, and city levels, and their coordinated execution is expected to lead to substantial air quality improvements not only in these cities but across the entire nation.

Yadav expressed confidence in achieving the objectives of the National Clean Air Programme through the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders.

Monitoring Progress with PRANA

As part of NCAP, the Ministry has launched the "PRANA" portal to monitor the program's implementation. The portal provides a platform to track the progress of action plans at the city, state, and ministry levels. Additionally, the portal shares best practices adopted by cities, facilitating knowledge exchange and replication of successful strategies.

Mission LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment

During the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 26 in Glasgow in 2021, Prime Minister Modi introduced "Mission LiFE" (Lifestyle for Environment). This mission aims to build a global network of individuals committed to promoting eco-friendly lifestyles and transforming it into a mass movement (Jan Andolan).

Waste Management Rules and Sustainable Transportation

Yadav highlighted the notification of waste management rules encompassing various waste categories such as solid waste, plastic waste, e-waste, bio-medical waste, battery waste, construction & demolition waste, and hazardous waste. These rules include Extended Producer Responsibility and Polluter Pays Principles to ensure environmentally sound waste management by producers and manufacturers.

He also mentioned the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme, which seeks to establish Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) production plants and make CBG available as a green fuel.

Concluding his address, Minister Yadav emphasized the establishment of a statutory Commission for Air Quality Management for Delhi-NCR and adjacent areas, which comprehensively addresses air quality issues across the region.

Bhupender Yadav's dedication to addressing air pollution and his call for collective action underscore the urgency of the air quality crisis and the need for collaborative efforts to ensure cleaner and healthier skies for all.

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