MoEFCC Current Affairs - 2019
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Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign aimed to reduce adverse environmental conditions especially pollution in the country after post Diwali celebrations due to excessive bursting of crackers which contributes significantly to air and noise pollution.
Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign
This campaign was initiated in 2017-18 to enlighten children about harmful fire crackers and motivate them to celebrate Diwali in environment-friendly manner and not to buy fire crackers, instead buy gift, food items, or sweets for poor and underprivileged children living in their locality.
Under this campaign, the MoEFCC will undertake various activities for creating awareness among various stakeholders and encourage people to participate in combating air pollution. This campaign was extremely successful and the air quality had not deteriorated post Diwali in 2017 unlike what was experienced in 2016.
2018 Campaign: Following its earlier precedence, MOEFCC has initiated similar campaign, but has extended pan-India. It also merged this year’s campaign with “Green Good Deed” movement that has been initiated as social mobilization for conservation and protection of environment. All schools and colleges have been encouraged to be part of this campaign.
Air pollution is serious health issue in the country especially in northern parts during winter seasons. The air pollution in northern region is mainly due to dust, burning of kharif crop residue on large scale in certain states, burning of garbage, construction activities and prevailing climatic conditions. This air pollution has serious impacts on health of children aged people and people suffering from respiratory ailments. Diwali festival also falls during same period and as matter of traditional practice people have been celebrating this festival by bursting crackers. Crackers contains combustible chemicals that include potassium chlorate powdered magnesium, aluminum, salts of barium, copper, sodium, lithium, strontium etc. and emits hazardous smoke of these chemicals along with sound. This smoke and sound has health impacts on children, aged people and also animal and birds. Apart from hazardous smoke, large amount of waste is also generated after bursting of crackers. Thus, keeping in view the above detrimental effects and and importance of the festival, MoEFCC had initiated a Harit–Diwali campaign.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released draft of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) proposing multiple strategies to reduce air pollution. It aims to tackle increasing air pollution problem across country in comprehensive manner. The goal of NCAP is to meet prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in country in a stipulated time frame. However it does not mention of any specific target and time frame. Under NCAP, the MoEFCC plans to take host of measures to bring down air pollution.
Objectives of the NCAP
- Augment and evolve effective and proficient ambient air quality monitoring network across country to ensure comprehensive and reliable database.
- To have efficient data dissemination and public outreach mechanism for timely measures for prevention and mitigation of air pollution.
- To have feasible management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.
Measures to be taken by MoEFCC under NCAP
Under proposed NCAP, the MoEFCC will augment air quality monitoring network, identification of alternative technology for real-time monitoring, set up of 10 city super network, indoor air pollution monitoring and management and air pollution health impact studies. Other measures under it also includes air quality forecasting system, issuance of notification on dust management, three-tier mechanism for review, assessment and inspection for implementation and national emission inventory.
Earlier Union Minister Harsh Vardhan had said that MoEFCC hopes to bring down air pollution in around 100 non-attainment cities by 35% in three years and 50% in five years. Non-attainment cities are those considered to have air quality worse than National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). However, NCAP released by MoECC has no reference to the target it internally conceived and publicly announced.