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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO: 249
ANSWERED ON:  21.03.2022
Increasing Air Pollution
Sunita Duggal
Chandra Sekhar Sahu
Will the Minister of



ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:-


(a) whether the Government had monitored the factors and quantum of reduction of air pollution levels during the COVID lockdown;
(b) if so, whether the Government had studied the same in depth to understand the various factors which contribute to pollution and the proportion of their contribution along with the steps taken by the Government to convert the findings of the study into evidence-based policy measure;
(c) the names of the cities or regions in the country where air pollution reportedly has increased during the last two years along with the main reasons for deterioration in air quality therein;
(d) whether the Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority has been implementing the graded action plan to tackle pollution level in various cities of the country and if so, the details in this regard;and
(e) whether the Government proposes any action plan to maintain the air quality in the cities which have major public health concerns and if so, the details thereof along with the steps taken or proposed to be taken by the Government to implement the aforesaid action plan in the country?


ANSWER
MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(SHRI BHUPENDER YADAV)

(a) to (e): Statement is laid on the Table of the House.

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STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARAS (a) TO (e) OF THE LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 249 DUE FOR REPLY ON 21.03.2022 REGRADING ‘INCREASING AIR POLLUTION’RAISED BY SHRIMATI SUNITA DUGGAL AND SHRI CHANDRA SEKHAR SAHU, HON’BLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

(a) It has been reported that COVID-19 related lockdown has resulted in temporary improvement of air quality in many cities due to closure of industries, reduction in number of vehicles plying and lack of construction activities etc.The comparative details of the Air Quality Index(AQI) for major cities in India is annexed as Annexure-I.

(b) Major sources of pollution in Urban Settlement are vehicular emission, road dust, burning of biomass/ crop/ garbage/ Municipal Solid Waste, landfills, construction activities, industrial emission, etc.
Ministry under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) has identified 132 Non-attainment cities (NACs). Source apportionment (SA) and Emission Inventory (EI) are part of the city specific action plan prepared forthe improvement of air quality in these NACs. Such scientific field-based studies are carried out by Institutions of Repute andare at various stages of completion. The findings of these studies would assist in the formulation of evidence-based policy measures.

(c) Analysis of ambient air quality data of Particulate Matter (Size less than 10µm) of 132 non-attainment / metropolitan cities indicated that PM10 concentration increased in 31 cities in 2020-2021 as compared to 2019-2020, whereas 96 cities showed a decrease of PM10 concentration (i.e. improvement in air quality) and 04 cities revealed no change in concentration. The afore-mentioneddetails is annexed at Annexure-II.

(d) ‘The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in NCR and Adjoining Areas’has been constituted under "The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act, 2021" {29 of 2021}. The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority for the NationalCapital Region (EPCA)was constituted under section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Ministry vide notification dated the 29th January, 1998 had entrusted the mandate to implementthe Graded Response Action (GRAP) to EPCA for NCR Delhi. EPCA has been dissolved after constitution of CAQM. Presently, GRAP in Delhi-NCR region is implemented by CAQM.

GRAP has been prepared in 117 cities and is implemented by City Level Committee.

(e)6The Government has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in 2019 as a national-level strategy to maintain air quality in the non-attainment cities i.e. cities where the air quality has been consistently worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the past 5 years i.e. below NAAQS for PM10(Particulate matter that is 10 microns or less in diameter) or NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide)concentrations.

The Government has taken several steps for mitigation of air pollution which include the introduction of BS-VI norms for fuel and vehicles since April, 2020, promotion of E-vehicles, expansion of network of Metro rails for public transport, cleaner fuel such as PNG, stringent emission norms for industries including coal based Thermal Power Plants (TPPs), zig-zag technology for brick kilns, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastic and e-waste management, real-time monitoring of major industrial sectors, etc. Measures taken for Air Quality Management is annexed as Annexure-III.

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