Centre releases Rs 2,200 crores to 15 states for improving Air Quality measures.

The Government of India have released Rs 2,200 crores to 15 states on November 2, 2020. The fund was released to the states in order for them to improve the Air Quality Measures. These measures have to be executed in more than million plus cities.

Highlights

The fund has been released on the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. It will help states to undertake air quality measures and capacity building among local bodies. The amount has been released to states Including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand,  Karnataka, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Out of total RS 2,200 crores Rs 202.5 crores to Gujarat , Rs 396.5 crores has been released to Maharashtra, Rs 357 crores to UP, and Rs 209.5 crores to West Bengal.

Background

The Fifteenth Finance Commission was constituted in 2017 and it will now submit its report after three years. The commision has created a report for the fiscal years 2020-21 to 2025-26 and will submit the report to The President Ram Nath Kovind on November 9, 2020. The Fifteenth Finance Commission in its report for the fiscal year 2020-21 had recommended a grant of Rs 4,400 crores in order to improve the air quality in 50 million plus cities.

How air quality is monitored?

In order to combat the air pollution, the government had launched a National Air Pollution Control Programme. The Programme has been partnered with several think tanks and premier educational institutions including IITs, IIITs and NITs in order to meet its objectives. Under this program, a network of 984 Air Quality monitoring stations has been set up in order to monitor the air quality on regular basis. Out of these stations, 779 are manual stations and 205 are continuous monitoring stations. They have been set up across 500 cities. However, the station infrastructure is very low which needs to be improved.