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Stakeholders to evolve strategy to tackle pollution

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

A stakeholder consultation, involving state governments, relevant ministries, institutes, academic institutions and industries, will deliberate on the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which was formalised by the Union Environment Ministry as a long-term timebound national level strategy to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country, and come up with a comprehensive management plan.

“There is need to translate the outcome of the deliberations, in the form of suggestions on the ground,” Union Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma, said on Thursday, inaugurating the two-day Stakeholder Consultation on NCAP here.

“The National Clean Air Programme is expected to play a crucial role in addressing the increasing air pollution across the country in a comprehensive manner.”

Emphasising the impact of air pollution on health and general well-being of human, floral and faunal population, Sharma said stakeholders are and must act as “givers” to the society, according to an official communique.

The stakeholder consultation involves all the state governments, considering that NCAP is a pan-India programme and inputs from states will be useful in evolving an effective implementation strategy, the communique said.

The overall objective of the NCAP is a comprehensive management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution besides augmenting the air quality monitoring network across the country.

It focuses on collaborative and participatory approach covering all sources of pollution and coordination between relevant Central ministries, state governments, local bodies and other stakeholders.

Union Environment Secretary C K Mishra said, “While as a nation, we need to be concerned at the quality of air, as a government we need to have that commitment to ensure that there is a defined time-frame that we may set for ourselves after today’s discussions.”

Noting that all the states and stakeholders need to spread the campaign for clean air across the country, the secretary pointed out that technology is one of the critical elements of NCAP. “Let us together find solutions that are nationally acceptable, but more importantly, which are locally possible,” he added.

The NCAP stresses on intensive awareness, training and capacity-building drive, with specific impetus on augmentation of manpower and infrastructure facilities of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) under the capacity building component of NCAP.