As told to Parliament (March 13, 2023): 19% PM2.5 emissions in Indo-Gangetic Plains come from households

Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Chandigarh and Delhi emit 437 gigagrams PM2.5 per year through household cooking 

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 13 March 2023
संसद में आज: 2021-22 में 15 हाथी ट्रेन दुर्घटनाओं के कारण मारे गए

The net emission of Particulate Matter 2.5 from the domestic sector (household cooking) was found to be 437 gigagrams per year for the base year of 2018 in the the states in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Chandigarh and Delhi), said Bhupender Yadav, Union minister for environment, forest and climate change, told the Lok Sabha. He was citing figures from the Central Pollution Control Board.

This contributes nearly 19 per cent of the total emissions in the region, he noted. 

The National Statistical Office survey report of 2018 showed that around 60 per cent households use LPG and the rest still rely on solid fuels, the minister added.

Pollution due to NTPC plants

Six coal-based thermal power plants (TPP) in Bihar and one in West Bengal operated by the National Thermal Power Corporation have been provided timelines to meet emission norms for particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change, told the Lok Sabha.

State pollution control boards monitor the compliance of environmental standards of TPPs through the consent mechanism. Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems have been installed in these TPPs for round-the-clock monitoring and online reporting of environmental parameters, Choubey said. 

Rs 316.73 crore and Rs 777.02 crore have been released to cities in Bihar and West Bengal since 2019-20 till 2022-23 for implementation of city action plans for air quality improvement, the minister added.

Review of elephant corridors

The Union ministry, in coordination with the state forest departments, has initiated the process of ground truthing elephant corridors to create better connectivity between the different landscapes and elephant herds for maintaining genetic diversity, Choubey told the Lok Sabha.

In 2021-22, there were 535 human casualties due to elephant attacks and 15 elephant casualties due to train accidents, Choubey said.

Afforestation schemes

To date, Rs 728.21 crore has been released to 16 states and one Union territory for afforestation activities over an area of 136,808 hectares, Choubey said in the Lok Sabha.

The total forest cover of India is 713,789 square kilometres, which is 21.72 per cent of the country’s geographical area, the latest assessment showed. 

Air pollution

Out of 445 Indian cities assessed, one exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for SO2, 20 for NO2 and 273 for PM10, according to the data presented in the Lok Sabha.

With respect to PM 2.5, out of 300 cities, 107 exceeded NAAQS, Choubey told the Lok Sabha.

Solid waste in the country

The total quantity of solid waste generated in the country was 160,038.9 tonnes per day (TPD) in 2022, of which 152,749.5 TPD of waste was collected, 79,956.3 TPD was segregated and treated, and 29,427.2 TPD was landfilled, said Choubey.

The country’s solid waste processing capacity increased to 131,876 TPD in 2022 from 26,000 TPD in 2014 under the Swachh Bharat Mission, he added.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

As on February 1, 2023, there were 95.9 million active beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) across the country, said Rameswar Teli, Union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, in the Rajya Sabha.

Out of this, 89.9 million PMUY connections were released since inception as on March 31, 2022 and only 1.68 million PMUY consumers have not taken any refill after their installation refill, he observed.

Per capita consumption of PMUY beneficiaries has increased from 3.01 refills in 2019-20 to 3.68 in 2021-22, the minister added.

Mapping of natural water bodies

There were 2.42 million water bodies in the country in 2017-18, out of which 38,496 were reported to have been encroached upon, Bishweswar Tudu, Union minister of state for Jal Shakti (water resources) told the Rajya Sabha. He was referring to the first census of water bodies in convergence with the Sixth Minor Irrigation Census (reference year 2017-18) under the centrally sponsored scheme ‘Irrigation Census’ conducted by the ministry.

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

Under AMRUT, Rs 32,456 crore (42 per cent) has been allocated to sewerage and septage projects and so far, 859 sewerage / septage management projects have been grounded worth Rs 34,155 crore, said Kaushal Kishore, Union minister of state for housing and urban affairs, told the Rajya Sabha.

Total sewage treatment capacity of 6,347 million litres per day (MLD) is being developed through these AMRUT projects, he said. Of this, 2,840 MLD sewage treatment capacity has been created and 1,437 MLD capacity has been developed for recycle / reuse, the minister noted.

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