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  • ଓଡ଼ିଆରେ ପଢନ୍ତୁ

Several steps are being taken to help reduce air pollution levels in the country and monitoring stations have been set up in 132 cities, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav informed Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said the government has taken steps on changing BS4 norms in vehicles for fuel emissions to BS6 and is evolving schemes in various cities for setting up Metro rails.

"Monitoring stations have set up in 132 cities in the country to monitor air pollution and steps are being taken by the government to reduce pollution.

"The finance commission has also earmarked Rs 4400 crore for local industry to help reduce pollution at the national level,"Yadav told the house.

In Delhi where there is a lot of pollution, the Eastern Express highway and Western Express highway have been constructed to help minimise fuel consumption in vehicles, he told the members.

Diesel vehicles of over 10 years have also been prohibited in NCR Delhi, he said.

As far as industrial pollution, he said the government is enforcing stringent pollution norms for coal-based power plants.

Technology upgrade is being taken up in industrial units around NCR, especially in brick kiln industry, the minister informed, adding that the government is taking several measures to reduce industrial pollution.

In his written reply, the minister said the Government has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution levels across the country.

"City Specific Clean Air Action Plans have been prepared and rolled out for implementation in 132 non-attainment and million plus cities.

"Rs 375.44 crores have been sanctioned to non-attainment cities under NCAP for initiating actions such as expansion of monitoring network, construction and demolition waste management facilities, non-motorised transport infrastructure, green buffers, mechanical street sweepers, composting units," he said in his written reply.

"As per the Fifteenth Finance commission recommendations ?4400 crores have been released in the Budget of FY 2020-21 to tackle the burgeoning problem of air pollution for 42 urban centres with a million-plus population. Further, an amount of Rs 12,139 crores has been allocated for improvement of air quality for the award period FY 2021-26," he said.

City specific action plans for improvement of air quality has been prepared and approved for implementation, he also said.

Implementation of the city specific action plans are regularly monitored by committees at central and state level namely steering committee, monitoring committee and implementation committee, he added.

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