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Pune among six urban communities in state to get Rs 40-50 crore for air quality improvement

Pune is among the six urban areas in Maharashtra which will get the portion of assets designated to the state in the Union Budget for air contamination control. Dr V M Mothgare, joint overseer of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), revealed to The Indian Express that state would get around Rs 790 crore for air contamination control.

“Funds would be given to cities like Mumbai — Rs 232 crore- and others would get in the range of Rs 40 to 50 crore each,” said Dr Mothgare.

He additionally cautioned that the stage astute distribution of assets would be halted if urban communities didn’t proceed according to their particular air quality improvement program. Aside from Mumbai and Pune, different urban communities are Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad and Vasai-Virar, Mothgare said.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while introducing the Union Budget for 2020-21, had said that air contamination was a significant concern and reserved an amount of Rs 2,217 crore for handling air contamination in 42 metropolitan communities.

As per Mothgare, 50% of the subsidizes will be moved to the state Urban Development Department which will at that point offer it to separate companies for execution of the city air quality improvement program according to the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) rules.

“There is a grading system for each city for actions to be initiated for controlling vehicular emissions, biomass burning, controlling industrial air pollution and other criteria,” Mothgare said. Performance of these cities will be then graded as per the actions taken, he added.

He likewise said that because of the Covid-19 pandemic, assets to the tune of around Rs 40 crore, given by the Ministry of Environment for NCAP usage for 18 non-fulfillment urban areas (hose with particulate matter fixation reliably underneath the public surrounding norms) in the state, will be conveyed forward till March 31 this year.

“The money was not utilised and MPCB will distribute the funds to the respective corporations of the 18 non-attainment cities,” said Mothgare.

Specialists in Pune, in any case, said the spending allotment for improving air quality may not be satisfactory given the size of upgrades required. “Allotments ought to be connected to a more clear assertion of activities and focuses of progress. The air quality improvement target is 30% decrease over contamination levels in 2017. Much should be done to accomplish this size of progress,” Sanskriti Menon, senior program overseer of Pune-based Center for Environment Education, a public establishment set up in 1984 as a focal point of greatness by the Ministry of Environment, disclosed to The Indian Express.

“In Pune, the largest contributor of PM 2.5, a major pollutant, is transport. Reducing tailpipe emissions from transportation is a key mission for Pune, including street design to reduce road dust, and improving facilities for walking, cycling and public transport. The bicycle plan should also be implemented to quickly create a city-wide cycling network. Only with a proper network and safe facilities can we expect more people to cycle. But it appears that only four new cycle tracks of 10 km are budgeted this year,” she said.

“Ironically, Rs 150 crore have been allocated for flyovers, saying newly-added areas need connectivity. This will be counter-productive as it will mostly help to increase private transport and soon result in congestion. This Rs 150 crore could have been allocated specifically to improve bus services to these areas,” said Menon.

Other significant activities are killing waste consuming by expanding SWACH’s doorstep assortment administrations, and backing to helpless family units and neighborhoods to move to local area sunlight based water warming or cleaner energizes for water warming as opposed to consuming twigs and waste materials.An powerful open commitment procedure is urgent with the goal that nearby specialists and individuals can cooperate to achieve the broad changes required, said Menon.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Pune journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.