GoI releases first instalment of Rs 2,200 crores to 15 states to improve Air Quality measures

On November 2, 2020, the Government of India released Rs 2,200 crores to 15 states to improve Air Quality Measures. The air quality improvement measures are to be executed in more than million plus cities.

Highlights

The amount was released based on the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. The fund will help states undertake air quality measures and capacity building in local bodies. The amount was released to states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Rs 396.5 crores has been released to Maharashtra, Rs 357 crores to UP, Rs 202.5 crores to Gujarat and Rs 209.5 crores to West Bengal.

Finance Commission

The Fifteenth Finance Commission is to submit its report for the fiscal years 2020-21 to 2025-26 on November 9, 2020 to President Ram Nath Kovind.

Background

The Fifteenth Finance Commission in its report for the fiscal year 2020-21 recommended a grant of Rs 4,400 crores to improve the ambient air quality in 50 million plus cities.

Current Scenario

There is a network of 984 Air Quality monitoring stations in the country. Of this 779 are manual stations and 205 are continuous monitoring states. They are spread across 500 cities. This infrastructure is very low and needs to be improved.

The Air Quality Monitoring Stations were set up under National Air Pollution Control Programme. The Programme partnered with several think tanks in the country and also with premier educational institutions such as IITs, IIITs and NITs to meet its objectives.

Why the fund allocation?

Air Pollution is not a localised phenomenon. So far, the National Air Pollution Control Programme was working on localised level working with local urban bodies. With the funds being allocated, this is to be expanded.

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