Net-zero plan for 42 AMRUT cities ready, to be launched soon: MPCB | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Net-zero plan for 42 AMRUT cities ready, to be launched soon: MPCB

ByPrayag Arora-Desai
May 07, 2022 12:11 AM IST

AMRUT cities in Maharashtra for which a net-zero plan has been prepared include Pune, Kalyan-Dombivali, Mira-Bhayandar, Navi Mumbai

Mumbai: In addition to the recently unveiled Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP), which charts a net-zero pathway for Mumbai city and suburban districts, the state government has completed a draft of similar net-zero plans for 42 other cities in Maharashtra which fall under the purview of the Centre’s Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme.

The state government plans to roll out at least 4,000 electric buses in six major cities (HT PHOTO)
The state government plans to roll out at least 4,000 electric buses in six major cities (HT PHOTO)

Speaking at a webinar on the implementation of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), hosted by non-profit Climate Trends, VM Motghare, joint director (air quality), at the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) said, “Every AMRUT city in Maharashtra is aiming to achieve net-zero emissions. We have finalised a plan of action for this and will be launching them to the public soon. This is a very significant development given Maharashtra’s commitment to achieving net-zero by 2050.”

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In addition to Mumbai, the other AMRUT cities in Maharashtra for which a net-zero plan has been prepared include Pune, Kalyan-Dombivali, Mira-Bhayandar, Navi Mumbai, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Vasai-Virar, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Malegaon, Nagpur, Bhusawal, Barshi, Satara, Sangli-Miraz, Kolhapur, Icchalkaranji, Parbhani, Jalna, Akola, Beed, Latur, Udgir, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Nanded, Badlapur, Panvel. Dhule, Ahmednagar, Chandrapur, Raigad, Osmanabad, Waghala, Gondia, Nashik, Solapur, Amravati, Achalpur, Wardha, Hinganghat and Jalgaon.

Motghare also said the state government plans to roll out at least 4,000 electric buses in six major cities, namely Greater Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Vasai-Virar, over the next three years.

Maharashtra has been allotted a total corpus of 2,981 crore at the recommendation of the 15th FC, specifically to address air pollution in the state. The funds are to be utilised by the end of the financial year 2026. Of the 2,773 crore which the state government plans to spend by the end of FY2025, a clean 80% (or 2,218 crore) is proposed to be spent on the state’s EV Policy, primarily on electrifying bus fleets in major urban clusters.

A portion of the funds will also be channelled toward the electrification of auto-rickshaws, Motghare revealed.

The balance of 555 crore is to be spent on local interventions, such as increasing Maharashtra’s air quality monitoring network (3%), implementing dust control measures (8%), and regulating construction (4%), industries (2% ), bakeries and crematoria (3%).

Motghare on Thursday also announced the addition of 47 new continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) in major cities of the state, testing for which is presently underway. This will be in addition to the 23 CAAQMS already installed across the state, taking the total count to 70.

“Nearly a quarter of the entire country’s air quality monitoring network is in Maharashtra, and this network is going to become much wider in just a couple of months,” he added.

Anjal Prakash, lead author of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report, said that the Maharashtra government must focus on three aspects to achieve net zero by 2050. “First, it must update the state climate action plan based on the new information and the 6th Assessment cycle of IPCC reports to understand newer areas that may have come under climate change hot spots. Second, the update on the council for climate change and its functioning must be available in the public domain so as to understand the progress made by the cell and how it is implementing the programs. Third, it must sync its target with the target set by India and coordinate with the centre in contributing to the national target. These need to be overcome before a suitable enabling environment for sustained action on climate change can be achieved,” he said.

What is an AMRUT city?

The Centre’s AMRUT project was launched in 2015 with the aim of providing basic amenities -- water supply, sewerage, infrastructure, rainwater harvesting, open spaces, transport, green cover and housing -- to 500 cities/towns. One of the parameters of the scheme also includes pollution abatement. Maharashtra in 2015 proposed to include 43 of its most populous cities under the AMRUT scheme to receive benefits.

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