• Air pollution is one of the biggest public health and environmental challenges of today and I believe only collaborative and participatory approach from every stakeholder will pave the way to mitigate air pollution in our Chennai city.
  • In our country components of the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) are implemented in non-attainment cities as well as million plus cities like Chennai receiving grants to manage air quality on recommendations of XV Finance Commission (FFC). However, I would like to emphasize that apart from components of NCAP, there are multiple programmatic avenues which can be utilized to deliver air quality of highest standards to our citizens. 
  • Chennai is a nonattainment city supported by performance based grants from the FFC to manage its air quality. 
  • Till 2021-22, FFC has recommended for performance based grants for air quality action in Million plus cities on parameters like:  
  1. Strengthening of the pollution monitoring mechanism(10%)
  2. Source -wise cause analysis for air pollution(10%)
  3. Progress on action plans and compliance of statutory guidelines(10%)
  4.  Quantification of air quality improvement (From 2022 onwards – 100%)
  • What I know is that from 2022 onwards, more weightage has been given to the Quantification of Air Quality Improvement.  
  • Having said that, I would like to move on to the questions of programs and their related indicators to the concerned departments. 
  • I would like to put this on record and request the officials to include the  air quality related programs and funds allocated under 15th Finance Commision( FFC )for air quality management in the agenda of upcoming DISHA committee meetings. 
  • You all will be pleased to know that with support of local stakeholders we have created a platform to dedicatedly fight air pollution in South Chennai. We call that platform LIS(Local Innovation System). I would really appreciate representatives of concerned departments to consider participating in its future meetings.  

Finally, I would like to propose to you all that air quality can be more efficiently managed by dealing with the airshed approach. The world bank defines an airshed as a common geographic area where pollutants get trapped, creating similar air quality for everyone. Therefore, our actions have to be harmonized across all administrative units and we should even engage in dialogue with neighboring districts to ensure positive action of one district is not impacted by negative actions of other districts.

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