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10 Maharashtra cities have no air pollution action plan, Mumbai asked to revise blueprint

Officials from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told HT that Maharashtra tops the list of cities that have failed to develop action plans followed by Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

mumbai Updated: Aug 24, 2018 08:22 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Maharashtra,air pollution,blueprint
Greenpeace members said the RTI reply shows the immediate need for Maharashtra to step up its efforts for combating air pollution under NCAP.(HT File Photo)

Ten cities in Maharashtra are not prepared to tackle air pollution even eight months after the Centre directed states to draw up an action plan. Action plans prepared by cities such as Mumbai and Pune have been asked to revise their blueprints.

Officials from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told HT that Maharashtra tops the list of cities that have failed to develop action plans followed by Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

A right to information response from CPCB to non-governmental organisation Greenpeace India has revealed 17 highly polluted cities in Maharashtra are not ready with action plans to tackle air pollution. While 10 cities are yet to submit their action plans, seven cities have been asked to revise and resubmit their plans, the RTI response said.

“Cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Amravati, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Jalna and Latur have been requested to revise their action plans; resubmit it to their state government and CPCB,” CPCB’s RTI response read. CPCB officials said they had not set any deadline for developing action plans but expected all state pollution control boards (SPCBs) to finalise them by June; latest by August. “We had 51 action plans in January, 71 by June and more than 80 so far. We have asked SPCBs to finalise these plans in consultation with state governments, which is why it is taking more time,” said A Sudhakar, member secretary, CPCB.

The Centre promulgated the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) to push for clean air across the country and identified 100 most polluted (non-attainment) cities in March this year, which was later updated to 102 cities. According to CPCB, 80 cities across India have developed their air pollution action plan while the remaining 22 are yet to submit their drafts.

Greenpeace members said the RTI reply shows the immediate need for Maharashtra to step up its efforts for combating air pollution under NCAP. “Lack of even one implementable action plan raises grave concerns towards the government’s preparedness to mitigate air pollution crisis and fight the health emergency Maharashtra faces due to hazardous air pollution levels,” said Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Greenpeace India, which filed the RTI query in July and received CPCB’s response on August 20.

MPCB officials said all action plans will be ready and submitted by next month. “The CPCB wanted us to develop integrated air pollution source apportionment plan, which we developed after consultations with stakeholders and guidance from National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and IIT-B for all 17 cities, which took some time. CPCB has also circulated a template for air quality improvement across five parameters, which has been completed by 70% of the cities. Some smaller municipal corporations have issues but within a month it will be complete,” said P Anbalagan, member secretary, MPCB.

First Published: Aug 24, 2018 06:06 IST