New Delhi: The ministry of environment on Friday said that it has released over Rs 11 crores to 18 states and Union territories under its National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) in last one year.
In a written response on the money spent on tackling the toxic air in the country, Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo said in last ten years, between 2009-2019, over Rs 118 crores have been released to 36 monitoring agencies in 29 states and six UTs and Rs 11.12 crores were spent in 2018-19 alone.
Funding details of New Delhi were missing from the data shared by the ministry. As per the information given by the minister, in 2018-19, Tamil Nadu and Tripura were given maximum amount of Rs 75 lakh and Rs 59 lakh, respectively.
They were followed by Mizoram and Punjab which received Rs 46 lakh and Rs 45 lakh, respectively. Under the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), there are 731 monitoring stations covering 312 cities and towns which monitor four pollutants sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, respirable suspended particulate matter (PM10) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
As per the data, Rs 45.77 crore was released in 2017-18, Rs 6.95 crores in 2016-17, Rs 6.86 crore in 2015-16, Rs 5.87 crore in 2014-15, Rs 7.25 crores in 2013-14, Rs 7.92 crore in 2012-13, Rs 10.82 crore in 2011-12, Rs 9.63 crore in 2010-11 and over Rs 5 crore each in 2009-10 and 2008-09.
Responding to another question whether as per reports of the World Health Organisation and other agencies, several Indian cities are included among top 10 most polluted cities in the world on the basis of presence of particulate matter 2.5, the minister said, "The data used for ranking is extracted primarily from satellite imageries, which are not validated by proper ground truth."
"The government is aware that several private institution and universities, while adapting different methodologies, different data set and giving different weightages to the parameters are ranking the countries.
"The data used for ranking is extracted primarily from satellite imageries, which are not validated by proper ground truth.Further, the methodology for ranking needs to be peer reviewed," the minister said.
On the analysis of last five-year ambient air quality data (2014-2018), across the country, the minister said that most of the cities were within the national standards with respect to parameters of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
"With respect to PM10 and PM2.5, 18 and 12 cities respectively showed decreasing trend. In reference to Delhi, there has been an overall improvement in air quality of Delhi in 2019 as compared to that of 2016. The number of 'Good' to 'Moderate' days has increased to 175 in 2019 as compared to 108 in 2016," the House was told.