“Eighty of these 102 ‘non-attainment cities’ have already prepared their city-centric action plans. The Centre is funding them so that these cities can take pollution abatement measures on the ground,” environment minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Cities are declared ‘non-attainment’ if they consistently fail to meet the ambient air quality standards for PM10 or nitrogen dioxide over a period of five years, in this case 2011-15.
Overall cost of air pollution abatement measures in these 102 cities will, however, be much more than what the Centre will provide. An official said such financial assistance was in addition to what was being done, worth thousands of crores of rupees, in different sectors (transport, highways, forests and renewables among others) across the country to reduce carbon emissions.
The 28 million-plus cities, identified for funding of higher amounts, are those which had reported high pollution level — more than 90 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) of PM10 (particulate matter). The other cities in this group include Raipur, Vijayawada, Surat, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Bhubaneswar, Agra, Allahabad, Nagpur and Pune among others.
Among the remaining 74 non-attainment cities, the ones having population of 5-10 lakh will get Rs 20 lakh each while cities with population of less than 5 lakh will get Rs 10 lakh each as an initial amount.
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