Finding Solutions to Air Pollution Crisis in India

 What is the role of Policy Finance, and Communities?

Growing threat of Air pollution on GDP

According to a report, India is estimated to bear 10.7 lakh crore (US$150 billion), or 5.4% of India’s GDP annually, from fossil fuel air pollution worldwide.

The levels of morbidity and mortality have caused losses in welfare that in turn cost India’s economy some 5.9% of GDP.

Home to most pollutel cities in the world

According to the 2019 World Air Quality Report, India is home to 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world where air quality can be as much as 10 times over the safe limits of air pollution recommended by WHO,

The 10 most polluted cities in the world

Source 2013 Woeld Air Quality Report iQAir

Vulnerable Communities

As per the ORF report:

Only a small section of the country’s population is closely being monitored for air pollution, with one monitoring station for every 6.8 million people

It is necessary to work towards mitigating the extent to which vulnerable communities (women, children, indigenous populations, and the elderly) are affected by air pollution. 

Policy Action to right Air Pollution

To tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country, the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched in 2019.

The NCAP calls on 122 cities across India to develop city-level Clean Air Plans and aims to reduce PM10 and PM2.5 by 20-30% by 2024.

Is there a silver lining?

The Union government approved the release of 2,200 crore to fight air pollution to 42 cities with a population in excess of a million, money that will be used under the NCAP to improve air quality in these cities.

A new law

The Centre has brought a new law through ordinance for constituting the commission for Air Quality Management in states of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi & NCR.

Any violations will invite a five year jail term and 1 crore penalty under the new law.

Financing Solutions to Improve Air Quality

Since 2014, more than 40 environmental startups have been set up in India.

Green sectors are likely to be the driving force for developing solutions to improve air quality and Green SuperFund would raise capital for investment in green industries. 

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