3 November 2020.
The central government has released Rs 2,200 crore as the first instalment to 15 states for undertaking measures towards improvement of air quality.
- The amount was released based on the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.
- The fund will help states undertake air quality measures and capacity building in local bodies.
- The amount was released to states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
- Rs 396.5 crores has been released to Maharashtra, Rs 357 crores to UP, Rs 202.5 crores to Gujarat and Rs 209.5 crores to West Bengal.
- The Fifteenth Finance Commission is to submit its report for the fiscal years 2020-21 to 2025-26 on November 9, 2020 to President Ram Nath Kovind.
- The Fifteenth Finance Commission in its report for the fiscal year 2020-21 recommended a grant of Rs 4,400 crores to improve the ambient air quality in 50 million plus cities.
- There is a network of 984 Air Quality monitoring stations in the country.
- Of this 779 are manual stations and 205 are continuous monitoring states.
- They are spread across 500 cities.
- This infrastructure is very low and needs to be improved.
- The Air Quality Monitoring Stations were set up under National Air Pollution Control Programme.
- The Programme partnered with several think tanks in the country and also with premier educational institutions such as IITs, IIITs and NITs to meet its objectives.
- Air Pollution is not a localised phenomenon. So far, the National Air Pollution Control Programme was working on localised level working with local urban bodies. With the funds being allocated, this is to be expanded.