The Weekend Leader - PRANA portal for air pollution launched, smog tower inaugurated

PRANA portal for air pollution launched, smog tower inaugurated

New Delhi



Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on Tuesday launched 'PRANA', a national portal for Regulation of Air Pollution in Non-Attainment Cities and inaugurated a smog tower in Delhi coinciding with the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.

The PRANA portal will provide all information related to various policies/programmes/schemes/activities of the stakeholders along with the progress made towards improvement in air quality across the country. This portal will be a platform for monitoring and feedback on all efforts made for air quality improvement.

Inaugurating the portal, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav announced that through its 'Nagar Van Yojana' (urban forests scheme), his Ministry has planned to develop 200 urban forests across the country with a focus on people's participation.

"These forests will work as lungs of the cities and will help in improving air quality of these cities," Yadav said as he said in 2018, out of 132 cities, only 6 cities had particulate matter (PM) concentration less than National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which increased to 11 cities in 2019 and 28 cities in 2020.

"Also, 86 cities showed better air quality in 2019 in comparison to 2018, which increased to 104 cities in 2020," he said.

With the portal, information should bring attitudinal and behavioural changes, he said.

Minister of State for Environment, Forests & Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey gave a slogan of 'Swachcha Pavan, Neel Gagan' (clean air for blue sky), to which Yadav complimented by adding, 'Swastha Man aur Swastha Pran' (healthy mind, healthy body because of healthy air)."

The dashboard is developed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change along with GIZ, an arm of the German government working in tandem with several Indian ministries and states on environmental and sustainable issues.

The smog tower was dedicated in Delhi for assessing its "efficacy in achieving the desired results in bringing down the air pollution levels further in the city of Delhi," the Minister said.

Joint Secretary Naresh Pal Gangwar, German Ambassador to India Walter J. Lindner, WHO representative Payden (she goes with only one name), UNEP India head Atul Bagai and Central Board for Pollution Control chairperson Tanmay Kumar also spoke on the occasion.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated September 7 as the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies to emphasize the need for making sincere and earnest efforts to improve air quality all across the globe to protect human health and well being - IANS

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