Rejected twice, air pollution plan for city finally gets nodUpdated: Oct 20, 2019 00:37 IST
The Centre has accepted the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’s (MPCB) revised action plan on air pollution for Mumbai and dispensed ₹25 crore to the state for the speedy implementation of the plan.
Previously, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had red flagged the earlier plans presented by the state pollution body for the city, making Mumbai the only megacity in India which was asked to revise its air pollution action plan three times.
“The CPCB and the Union environment ministry accepted Mumbai’s action plan on October 9 after six major details were worked out in consultation with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner. It was communicated to us by the Centre on October 14,” VM Motghare, joint director (air quality), MPCB, said at a firecracker-testing event in the city on Friday.
The six points revised in the latest plan for Mumbai include increase in parking facilities; green buffer zones around commercial complexes and major industrial zones; increased solar energy utilisation for commercial and residential buildings; developing a policy to scrap older fuel quality standards Bharat Stage (BS) III and BS IV buses; widening of roads to avoid traffic congestion, and a policy to promote electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles in Mumbai. “All these points were missing from previous plans,” said Motgahre.
Of the ₹25 crore released by the Centre, a budget of ₹6 crore each was allocated for four cities. “The municipal corporations of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune have been given ₹6 crore each to implement the plan, while ₹12 lakh each has been allocated for the rest of the 14 cities,” Motghare said.
CPCB confirmed the development and said it had issued directions for the implementation of the plan earlier this week.
MPCB was required to submit air pollution mitigation plans for 18 cities in the state under the National Clean Air Action Plan (NACP), released by the Union environment ministry in January, with an aim to reduce emission sources by 30% by 2024. Mumbai’s plan was first submitted in February and then in April.
To monitor the implementation of Maharashtra’s action plans, a state-level panel headed by the state chief secretary and principal secretary (environment) will meet the members of the MPCB and the municipal commissioners every four months. “Government resolutions for both committees have been published,” Motghare said.