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Rs 793 Crore Allocated for Six Cities in Maharashtra to Fight Air Pollution


Rs 793 Crore Allocated for Six Cities in Maharashtra to Fight Air Pollution
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The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has mentioned that six cities across Maharashtra that have a population of more than 10 lakh will receive Rs 793 crore towards curbing air pollution for the 2020-21 period. Though this ought to be great news for the cities, the MPCB has also mentioned that it has received no directives on where or how the funds should be spent across the earmarked cities.

Joint Director (Air Quality) of the MPCB, V M Motghare mentioned that details on these funds were disclosed at a meeting held on June 12 with the Central Environment Ministry. Pollution board representatives from other states were also said to be in attendance at this meeting.  

“There is no clarity on whether the disbursed funds will be linked to the Centre’s Smart Cities and Swachh Bharat Missions. Also, we need more clarity on the utilisation of funds and submission of expenditure statements,” Motghare said.

Read - Mumbai Experienced Cleaner Air And Decreased Noise Pollution On World Environment Day

As per the official data, Mumbai is slated to receive Rs 488 crore which is a major portion of Maharashtra’s allocation. Regions like Vasai-Virar and Aurangabad will receive Rs 32 crore individually, while Pune will get Rs 134 crore, and Nagpur will receive Rs 66 crore, the pollution control body revealed.

A senior CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) official who was present at the June 12 meeting said that state pollution boards have been asked to focus on their clean-air action plans with the existing funds allocated to them during the 2019-20 timeframe.

“We are assisting the ministry in submitting the quarterly reports of the progress in these cities which will be further assessed by them, and the funds will be provided to urban local bodies, municipal corporations and other state departments engaged in improving air quality in these non-attainment cities,” the official added.

However, Motghare claims that the allocation from the previous budget is still not entirely available, adding that the state pollution board is yet to receive Rs 16 crore from the 2019-20 budget. Responding to this, Apex Committee Member of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), SN Tripathi said that the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is currently looking into the process of allocating the remaining funds from 2019-20.


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