Indore city. Representational image: Twitter/@IndoreSmartCity

Clean air survey, Indore clinches top rank; Agra, Thane next

In population of 3-10 lakh category, Amravati in Maharashtra tops the list

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Indore claimed the top spot in the government's clean air survey, followed by Agra and Thane, the Union Environment Ministry said on Thursday.

Conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the "Swachh Vayu Survekshan" ranks cities based on the execution of activities approved under the city action plan and air quality in 131 cities covered under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

Madhya Pradesh's Indore secured the first position in the million-plus population category, closely followed by Agra (Uttar Pradesh) and Thane (Maharashtra). The second category, covering cities with populations ranging from 3 to 10 lakhs, witnessed Amravati in Maharashtra clinching the top rank, with Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh following it. Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh stood out in the third category, featuring cities with populations below 3 lakhs, while Kala Amb in the hill state and Angul in Odisha took the second and third place, respectively.

The NCAP stands as a national-level strategy, aiming for a 20 to 30 percent reduction in PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations by 2024, with a reference base year of 2017. The programme covers 131 non-attainment cities, which consistently failed to meet the prescribed national ambient air quality standards between 2011 and 2015.

The Centre has set a new objective of achieving a 40 percent reduction in particulate matter concentrations in cities covered under NCAP by 2026.

For their outstanding performance, the top three cities in each category are rewarded with cash prizes, trophies, and certificates every September 7 on the "International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies," as per the ministry.

The assessment process relies on the submission of self-assessment reports along with supporting documents by urban local bodies. These reports and documents undergo scrutiny by the respective air quality monitoring committee (AQMC), chaired by the Principal Secretary of the environment ministry. Subsequently, the CPCB conducts further evaluation and ranking based on the assessment framework outlined in the ministry's guidelines.

(With Agency inputs)

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