Environment protection will lead to a giant leap towards mitigating air pollution: Union Environment Minister
Union Environment Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar today at an event in New Delhi stressed that ‘Jan Bhagidari’ is integral towards mitigating air pollution and protecting the environment in general. The event was organized on the occasion of World Environment Day. This year’s theme is ‘Air Pollution’.
Shri Javadekar further said that a host of initiatives have been taken in past five years which are now showing results. “While poor air quality days which was 246 in the year 2014 have now come down below 200, the number of moderate to good air quality days have increased from just 108 in 2016 to 159 in 2018”, said the Union Minister.Shri Javadekar said that the incidents of stubble burning has reduced by 25-30% and also stressed that by 2020 India will leapfrog to BSVI from the current BSIV fuel standards.
To combat air pollution, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has launched the National Clean Air programme (NCAP) which is a mid-term 5 Year Action Plan with targets of 20-30% reduction of PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentration in 102 cities. It has been decided that each SPCB will tie up with a leading academic institution in the State that would act as the technical partner at the State level for the programme.
IIT Kanpur has been appointed by MoEFCC as the nodal academic institution to coordinate with all other leading academic institutions in States. Tripartite MoU with identified academic institution in the State with respective SPCB and MoEF&CC being the other two partners was also signed for 17 States today. The States for which the MoU was signed today are AP, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, UP, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
On the occasion the following four books were also released by the Union Minister:-
- Book 1 : Plant Discoveries 2018
By Botanical Survey of India
“Plant Discoveries 2018” is twelfth in the series and is an annual publication of BSI providing the comprehensive information about the new species described from India and new record of flora to India discovered by the scientists of BSI as well as the other scientific institutions in India. This books deals with 438 species plants that have been added to the Indian flora during 2018.
- Book 2 : Orchids of India – A pictorial Guide.
(By Dr. S.K. Singh, Dr. D.K.Agarwal, J.S.Jalal, Dr.S.S.Dash, Dr. A.A.Mao and Dr. P.Singh)
The book “Orchids of India-A pictorial guide” presents an updated census of 1256 taxa under 155 genera of Indian Orchids with photographs of more than 775 species.
- Animal Discoveries 2018
(Compiled by: Kailash Chandra and S. Sheela)
The Animal Discoveries is an annual publication of ZSI providing the comprehensive information about the new species described from India and new record of fauna to India discovered by the scientists of ZSI as well as the other scientific institutions in India. The present book provides the information of the type locality and distributional details of newly described 372 species and newly reported 179 species from India in 2018.
- Faunal Diversity of Mangrove Ecosystem in India
(Authors: Kailash Chandra, K.C.Gopi, S.S. Mishra and C. Raghunathan)
This book provides the detailed account on the faunal communities in Mangrove Ecosystem of India sprawling around the area of 4921 sq. km. along east and west coasts and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This book deals with 4822 species of fauna covering Protozoa to Mammalia. This is one of the books being published under the Ecosystem series.
- Special issue of STRIPES (System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) by NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority)
The Union Minister also launched Short Film Competition on Pollution in collaboration with CMS Vatavaran. Entries have been called from Professionals and Amateur Filmmakers including students. The films are required to be upto 3 minutes only on the theme Pollution, especially Air pollution. The last date for submission of the short films is 30th September, 2019. The films may be in English or any Indian language with sub-titles in English. The prize money ranges from Rs 10 thousand to Rs 2 lakh in cash.
The event also saw three thematic sessions being held in the second half of the conference. The thematic session on “Forests: the Green Lungs of Cities” in which Dr. S.P.S Rawat, from ICFRE Dehradun explained the role of urban forestry in bridging the gap between city dwellers and environment on one hand and sustainable development in other. The speakers also talked about the importance of tree cover in cities for combating air pollution.
The second Thematic session was on Waste Management including Solid Waste Management, Plastic Waste Management, Bio-medial waste management and e-waste management in India. The third thematic Session was on Air Pollutionwhich was chaired by Shri S.P.S. Parihar, Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board who spoke of integration of higher learning institutions in planning, implementation and monitoring of air pollution Management Plan.He also elaborated on green and improved firecrackers .