“It’s time to make ‘Clean Air For All’ a participative mission. The air quality improvement efforts have shown positive trends in achievement of better air quality in cities across the country. But if we wish to achieve what we aspire, ‘Jan Bhagidari’ or participative governance holds the key.” This was stated by Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav in Chennai today during the inauguration of Sensitization cum Review Workshop – National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and XV-FC Million Plus Cities Challenge Fund (XV-FC MPCCF) of Southern region comprising Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli.
Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister for Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Shri Siva . V. Meyyanathan, Secretary of Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Smt Leena Nandan, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forest, Government of Tamil Nadu Smt Supriya Sahu, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Shri Naresh Pal Gangwar participated in the inaugural ceremony of the 2 day regional workshop organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Speaking on the occasion Minister Shri Bhupender Yadav appreciated the state mentioning that Chennai, Madurai and Trichy, the 3 million plus cities’ air quality is within the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. He also praised the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board for the initiative of E- Commute program, under which all the officials of the board commute to office every Wednesday through non fossil fuel driven vehicles.
In another revolutionary step, he asserted that India leapfrogged to BS-VI standard and the adoption of its norms for fuel and vehicles is one of the landmark policy decisions towards combating air pollution.
“Under NCAP, 132 non-attainment cities have been identified across the country based on the Air Quality data from 2014-2018. The list is a heterogeneous mix of cities of all sizes and types and in southern India we have 13 such cities from Andhra Pradesh and 4 each from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana”, he added.
Shri Bhupender Yadav recalled the Prime Minister’s commitment to ensure clean air to all people by improving the air quality in around 100 cities through holistic approach.
The Minister appealed to the young population to become active agents in the mission to improve air quality by adopting sustainable lifestyles, appropriate behaviours and attitudes and become change agents of the society. He expressed confidence that with the coordination, collaboration, participation and sustained efforts of all stakeholders, the objectives of NCAP in addressing the issue of air pollution in a comprehensive manner will be achieved.