Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) will soon come up with the rules for implementation of Construction and Demolition Waste Control so as to control dust, a major source of pollution in cities. This information was given by the Minister (MoEF&CC) Shri Prakash Javadekar who was speaking at the meeting with the 15th Finance Commission headed by Shri N. K. Singh and including its members and senior officials. MoEF&CC officials also said that the Construction & Demolition Waste Management was a priority of the Government and that the Government would seek the support of the Commission for the same.
The 15th Finance Commission held a detailed meeting with the MoEF&CC officials yesterday to discuss the issues relating to Air Quality (AQ) specially that in Urban Areas. It may be recalled that the XVFC Report 2020-2021 was the first time that any Commission has given attention to air quality (AQ) as a major focus and this FC had not only recommended grants for 2020-21 and also provided road map for its award period.
It will be recalled that the 15th Finance Commission in its report for the Financial Year 2020-2021 had recommended grants of Rs. 4,400 crore for the year 2020-21 to improve the ambient air quality in fifty million plus cities/Urban Agglomerations (UAs). For this, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Challenge has been entrusted with the responsibility to facilitate the desired outcomes through these urban local bodies.
Further, in the meeting, MoEF&CC also gave the following information to the Commission:
- There is a need for strengthening and expanding the network of AQI monitoring stations along with the geographical area to cover the air-shed areas in order to make it more robust and accurate. Presently, there is a network of around 984 stations covering a wide range of cities and towns, around 779 manual stations and 205 continuous monitoring stations in around 500 cities which were set up under the National Control of Air Pollution (NACP) to meet its
- The Ministry has begun this work earlier as part of roll-out of NACP and various think-tanks like IITs, IIMs and NITs have been made local partners for different cities/towns. Ministry will also seek their expert guidance on what the Commission need to consider for the five years from 2021.
- As the problem of AQ is mostly not a localized phenomenon and is influenced by many factors beyond the control of a particular region, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is now focusing on air-shed management approach.