Page 5 - Breathing Cleaner Air - Ten Scalable Solutions for Indian Cities
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1 Clean Air Mission for India - Ten Solutions


Government of India has initiated a major campaign pollution emissions arise from many sectors, including
Clean India (Swachch Bharat) that covers its streets, cities, power, transport, industry, residential, construction,
rivers such as Ganga and the vast network of its and agriculture. The resulting air pollution affects
villages. It is also making concerted efforts to provide health, food production, water, and regional climate.
energy access to rural women, which is critical for Furthermore, since air pollution from one location travels
maintaining cleanliness in the villages. Recently, India within days to areas as far away as 1,000 km, coordination
has implemented similar initiatives to clean the air. across cities and states is required, in addition to multi-
There is greater awareness amongst the citizens of the sectoral coordination. Therefore, as our Solution 1, we
air pollution problem and the Indian government is are calling for:
dedicated to solving the problem, making it an ideal
time for India to take action. 1. Launching a National Clean Air Mission for Multi-
scale and Cross-sectoral Coordination
Motivated by the current leadership for a Clean India,
we, a self-organized task force, have developed a set of This Clean Air Mission [CAM-INDIA] should have the
ten scalable solutions to clean the air. We synthesized mandate to implement government policies for air
available data on sources of air pollution, its transport pollution mitigation across several ministries dealing
over long distances, its impact on public health, food with transport, power, construction, agriculture, rural
production, regional climate, to arrive at the solutions development, and environment, as well as across city
that can significantly help reduce air pollution in Indian and state jurisdictions. The targets for the CAM-INDIA are
cities and states. In this interim report, we focus on the particles referred to as PM2.5 to PM10 and Ozone. The term
winter season in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, as the winter PM (particulate matter) denotes a collection of difference
season experiences the worst pollution episodes and species of particles in the air, while the 2.5 or 10 refers
these areas suffer adversely from air pollution. Our to the radius of the particle in dimension of micrometer
strategic thinking is that if we can drastically reduce (millionth of a meter). The most important ones are:
winter pollution, we can effectively solve the problem ammonium sulphates, ammonium nitrates, black
for the entire year. We do plan to extend our analyses carbon (elemental carbon), organic carbon, fly ash,
for all months of the year to all cities and states of India and dust (mineral and road dust). To emphasize
and explore if the ten solutions have to be adjusted or the point about cross-sectoral coordination, the
modified on a state-by-state basis. ammonia in ammonium sulphate comes from
agriculture while the sulphates come from sulphur
Our vision is similar to that which transformed dioxide (SO2) emissions from the power and industrial
the State of California in the US, which had the most sector. The per cent contribution of each of these
polluted cities (perhaps in the world) in the 1960s. With particles to PM2.5 or PM10 differs from one location
a concerted effort by a team of scientists, technologists, to another, from month to month and at times
policy makers, and a committed citizenry, California from one village or city to the next and even, from
managed to drastically cut its pollution. There are one day to the next, implying that the science of
opportunities for India to collaborate with California as monitoring, determination of emission inventories, and
it works to tackle similar pollution concerns. As such, a modeling is crucial to evaluate the efficacy of policies.
team of experts from India and California collaborated
two years ago and produced twelve steps for reducing The rest of the nine solutions deal with various sectors
pollution from the transport sector, which is detailed in that contribute to pollution; the technologies required to
Ramanathan et al (2014). implement the nine solutions are listed in Table 1. Each
of these solutions requires auxiliary measures and these
Our highest priority solution relates to improved are described in more details in the sections that follows
governance and government initiatives since air this summary.
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