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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

UNDP-led team visits city to discuss pollution measures

The UNDP is one of many multilateral agencies extending support to the NCAP’s implementation.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 29, 2019 03:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
HSPCB will be required to create city-specific reports and action plans to curb air pollution in both Gurugram and Faridabad.
HSPCB will be required to create city-specific reports and action plans to curb air pollution in both Gurugram and Faridabad.(Yogendra Kumar/Hindustan Times)
         

A 14-member delegation, led by members of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), visited the city on Friday to hold talks and workshops with local officials of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board as part of a “scoping mission” under the Centre’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

Gurugram was added to the NCAP’s updated list of non-attainment cities on June 5. Accordingly, the HSPCB will be required to create city-specific reports and action plans to curb air pollution in both Gurugram and Faridabad. The NCAP is a pollution control initiative launched in January by the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC).

Ritesh Singh, joint secretary, MoEFCC, said, “The UNDP is one of many bilateral and multilateral agencies extending support to the NCAP’s implementation. This particular delegation will be meeting with state pollution control board officials in Amristar, Gurugram and Varanasi, so that they may benefit from their technical expertise.” 

Singh said that while the air quality management measures in Delhi are more robust, cities such as Gurugram lack the scientific know-how on pollution control and monitoring, making such exercises essential for implementation of the NCAP. 

The 14-member team, which also included two national experts from IITs in Delhi and Kanpur, will be presenting the findings of their “scoping mission” before the MoEFCC next week. The delegation met with Kuldeep Singh and Shakti Singh, regional officers (Gurugram north and south), along with multiple sub-divisional officers.

Among concerns raised during talks were those of adequate funding for cities to implement their plans, lack of robust ambient air quality monitoring systems, and aligning the NCAP’s mission with various policies and schemes in other sectors, such as the National Health Mission, and electric mobility policies which have been implemented at both state and central level.
Team member Preeti Soni, head of the UNDP’s Climate Change Resilience and Energy Unit, India, said, “We are here to extend our help for better implementation of the NCAP at city levels, and the scoping mission was primarily to explore possibilities of long-term UN involvement. We have discussed our observations with members of the HSPCB today, as we did in Amritsar with the Punjab Pollution Control Board on Wednesday.”
Soni said, “The state pollution board and district administration have been making some attempts at managing waste, improving public transport and other issues. However, under NCAP those measures will have to be expanded. Better source proportionment studies and emission inventories for the city will have to be carried out to understand how exactly pollution can be tackled at a local level.”

First Published: Jun 29, 2019 03:09 IST

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