It’s time to make ‘Clean Air For All’ a participative mission, Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav said today.
“The air quality improvement efforts have shown positive trends in achievement of better air quality in cities across the country. But if we wish to achieve what we aspire, ‘Jan Bhagidari’ or participative governance holds the key,” he said during the inauguration of a ‘Sensitization cum Review Workshop’ of the Southern region comprising Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli.
Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey and ministers of the Southern states attended the workshop.
Yadav appreciated Tamil Nadu, saying the air quality standards were within the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in Chennai, Madurai and Trichy, the 3 million-plus cities.
He also praised the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board for the initiative of the e-commute programme, under which all the officials of the board commute to the office every Wednesday through non-fossil fuel-driven vehicles.
In another revolutionary step, Yadav asserted that India leapfrogged to BS-VI standard and the adoption of its norms for fuel and vehicles is one of the landmark policy decisions toward combating air pollution.
“Under NCAP, 132 non-attainment cities have been identified across the country based on the Air Quality data from 2014-2018. The list is a heterogeneous mix of cities of all sizes and types and in southern India, we have 13 such cities from Andhra Pradesh and 4 each from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana”, he added.
Yadav also spoke about the Prime Minister’s commitment to ensure clean air for all people by improving the air quality in around 100 cities through a holistic approach.