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Indore Ranks First in Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan 2023
Union Environment Minister emphasizes commitment to clean air and highlights National Clean Air Programme
On the eve of the 4th International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies (Swachh Vayu Diwas 2023), Union Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, announced the prestigious Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan 2023 awards. The assessment, which evaluates the air quality efforts of Indian cities, revealed impressive rankings across three population categories.
In the first category (million-plus population):
Indore secured the top position with the score of 187 out of 200. Agra, renowned as the City of the Taj Mahal, followed closely behind with 186, while Thane in Maharashtra earned the third spot with 185.2.
In the second category (3-10 lakhs population): Amravati emerged as the leader with 194out of 200. Moradabad and Guntur claimed the second and third positions, respectively.
In the third category (less than 3 lakhs population): Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh clinched the first rank. Kala Amb, also in Himachal Pradesh, secured the second position. Angul in Odisha stood third in this category.
The rankings were determined based on self-assessment reports and supporting documents submitted by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). These reports were subsequently vetted by the respective Air Quality Monitoring Committees (AQMC), chaired by the Principal Secretary of Environment, and further evaluated by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), following the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). The assessment period covered the financial year from April 1st to March 31st of the preceding year.
Specific weightage was assigned to eight identified sectors to assess city performance. These sectors included Biomass and Municipal Solid Waste Burning, Road Dust, Dust from Construction and Demolition Waste, Vehicular Emissions, Emissions from Industries, Other Emissions, IEC (Information, Education, and Communication) activities/Public Awareness, and Improvement in PM10 concentrations. Notably, IEC activities/Public Awareness and Improvement in PM10 concentrations received a 2.5% weightage each.
Speaking at the event in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, Minister Yadav emphasized that Swachh Vayu Diwas 2023 aimed to strengthen partnerships, increase investments, and share the responsibility of combatting air pollution, aligning with the global theme of "Together for Clean Air."
Minister Yadav also recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment on August 15, 2020, to provide clean air to all citizens and announced plans to improve air quality in over 100 cities through a holistic approach. The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has been implementing the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) since 2019 as a national-level strategy to reduce air pollution at city and regional scales.
Under NCAP, 131 cities have been identified for city-specific action plans. The program focuses on preparing and implementing national, state, and city-level action plans to systematically address air pollution, involving all stakeholders.
Minister Yadav highlighted the launch of "PRANA," a portal to monitor NCAP implementation, where action plans of cities, states, and line ministries are reflected and monitored for their status. The portal also shares best practices for adoption by other cities.
Additionally, the Minister underscored the notification of waste management rules covering various waste types, Extended Producer Responsibility, and the "SATAT" (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) scheme, which promotes Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) production for use as a green fuel. He noted the establishment of a statutory Commission for Air Quality Management for Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas, which comprehensively addresses air quality concerns in the region.
The Minister's remarks emphasized the government's unwavering commitment to achieving cleaner air for all citizens and the importance of collective efforts in realizing this goal. The Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan 2023 awards serve as recognition and motivation for cities across India to continue their work in improving air quality.
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