Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan 2023: Chandigarh trails at dismal 22nd spot
Chandigarh was judged among 47 cities with a population of over 10 lakh; Parwanoo ranks first among cities having population of less than 3 lakh
Having relatively clean air on the face of it, Chandigarh has been ranked a dismal 22nd among 47 cities with a population of over 10 lakh in the Swachh Vayu Survekshan 2023.
Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav released the report for all cities in Bhopal on Thursday. According to the report, in cities with over 10 lakh population, Indore secured the first rank followed by Agra and Thane.
Chandigarh scored 174 out of a total of 200 marks, while Indore secured 187, Agra 186 and Thane 185.5. Chandigarh failed to secure a place in the top 10, and even Delhi took the ninth spot with a score of 177.
The survey was conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board under the National Clean Air Programme (NACP) of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change.
Chandigarh’s rank comes as a downer, especially when the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) and the city’s municipal corporation are formulating a plan to improve air quality, which has shown high concentration of particulate matter over the years.
Additionally, the area covered by forests in Chandigarh has also witnessed a two-acre increase in the last four years. This expansion includes all trees within the city and the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.
TC Nautiyal, director, environment, UT, who is also member secretary, CPCC, blamed Panchkula and Mohali for air pollution in Chandigarh. “UT has the highest density of vehicles in the country, with two vehicles per capita household. Pollution from vehicles coming from Panchkula and Mohali further affect city’s air quality.”
A total of 131 cities were put in three categories on the basis of their population for the purpose of the survey. Apart from 47 cities in the first group having population more than 10 lakh, 44 were in the second group having population between 3 and 10 lakh and 40 in the third group with population less than 3 lakh.
Under the NACP, city-specific action plans will be implemented in these 131 non-attainment cities to achieve improvements in air quality. The aim of the programme is to reduce air pollution by up to 40% by 2025-26.
The civic authorities had submitted self-assessment reports on the actions taken by them under the NCAP.
The self-assessment report was based on eight parameters: solid waste management (40 marks), road dust management (40), management of construction and demolition waste (10), control of vehicular emissions (40), measures to abate emissions from industries (30), measures to check other emissions (30), public awareness programs (5), and improvement in PM 10 concentration in the past one year (5). The total marks were 200 and the evaluation was conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board. The parameter-wise scores are yet to be released.
Parwanoo brings cheer
Under the category with a population of less than 3 lakh, Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh secured the first rank with a score of 193.6, followed by Kala Amb (193).
Baddi in Himachal Pradesh secured the 12th rank with a score of 171.2 and Nalagarh stood at the 14th position with a score of 165. Similarly, Dera Bassi in Mohali district remained at the 37th position with a score of 93.3 among 40 cities in the category.
According to the environment ministry, the rankings are not based on the measurement of air quality parameters but on actions taken by the cities to improve air quality in different domains and the improvements resulting from these steps.