J&K among 23 States asked to fight air pollution

NEW DELHI, Oct 11: The National Green Tribunal has directed 23 States and Union Territories, including the national capital Delhi and Chandigarh, to prepare action plans within two months to bring the air quality standard within the prescribed limit.
Noting that there are 102 cities where air quality does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, the panel formed an Air Quality Monitoring Committee (AQMC), comprising Directors of Environment, Transport, Industries, Urban Development, Agriculture Departments and Member-Secretary of State Pollution Control Boards.
The NGT said the Chief Secretaries of the States and Administrators of the Union Territories will be personally accountable for failure to formulate action plans.
The States and Union territories asked to prepare action plans are: Maharashtra (17 cities); Uttar Pradesh (15); Punjab (9); Himachal Pradesh (7); Odisha and Madhya Pradesh (6 each); Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan (5 each); Karnataka (4), Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Telangana (3 each); Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland and Uttarakhand (2 each); and Jharkhand, Delhi, Chandigarh, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal (1 each).
The NGT said the AQMC will function under the supervision of principal secretary, environment, of the concerned State/UT.
“The action plans may take into account the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), the CAP and the action plan prepared by Central Pollution Control Board as well as all other relevant factors,” it said.
The tribunal has initiated proceedings in this matter on the basis of a newspaper report in an English daily on National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in the 102 cities.
The Government has formulated the NCAP as a medium-term national level strategy to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country. (PTI)