PUNE: City environmental activists have submitted suggestions to the environment ministry on the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The activists have raised multiple objections including a higher amount of emissions released by automobiles and air pollution due to dust particles as a result of growing construction sites leading to health hazards. The activists claimed once the ministry issues the gazette regarding the programme, they will declare next plan of action.
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) published a draft National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) on April 16, 2018. Following this, the ministry had given a month for people to submit their objections and suggestions. Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE) and Parisar recently organised a workshop to seek views of the people for National Clean Air Action Plan. Konkana Das, an analyst of LIFE, said that the ministry has received close to 50 suggestions from NGOs and individuals from all over India, out of them 14 odd are from Pune.”
While speaking to NGOs in the city, Sujit Patwardhan, Founder and trustee of Parisar, told Sakal Times, “The main factors for air pollution are construction and vehicular traffic. The government should pay attention to improving existing public transport. Usage of private vehicles is not wrong but if the use of public transport goes up, then people won’t have to depend on private vehicles. If public transport is strengthened, the usage of cycles will go up, curtailing air pollution.”
Vivek Velankar, Founder of Sajak Nagrik Manch raised concerns about growing construction activity and claimed that the norms for constructions need to be followed strictly, he told Sakal Times. “Our demand to the ministry is that they should prepare stricter norms for construction activity. We expect these norms are made mandatory for developers and there should be stringent checks on its implementation.”
Vaishali Patkar, another social activist and Convenor Aundh Vikas Mandal, said that serious efforts are needed to improve quality of air. “I doubt if the government is able to curb air pollution within the existing set up. Due to automobile emission, the harmful and hazardous gases are emitted into the environment. In addition to this, there is rampant cutting of trees for road widening and the quality of air is seriously affected. People are suffering from serious diseases due to this.”
The last date to submit the suggestion and objections ended on May 17.