MC spent Rs 88.05 cr for environment protection in 3 yrs, pollution levels still high : The Tribune India

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MC spent Rs 88.05 cr for environment protection in 3 yrs, pollution levels still high

Of total 85 works initiated under NCAP, 58 completed, 27 underway

MC spent Rs 88.05 cr for environment protection in 3 yrs, pollution levels still high

There is no check on rising pollution levels in city. Himanshu Mahajan



Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, February 22

The Municipal Corporation (MC) has spent a sum of Rs 88.05 crore for environment protection in the past three years, officials have claimed.

The expenditure was made under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), the civic body has said.

Of the total 85 works of different nature, spread across eight Assembly constituencies under the MC limits, as many as 58 works have already been completed at the cost of Rs 59.08 crore while the rest 27 works were in progress at the cost of Rs 28.97 crore.

The development assumes significance as Ludhiana has figured among 20 most polluted cities in the country in a latest national study conducted by Climate Trends and Respirer Living Sciences recently.

Taking serious note of the situation, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjeev Arora reviewed the current status of funds received and spent under the NCAP during a meeting with MC Commissioner Sandeep Rishi here recently.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member from Punjab in the Upper House of Parliament told The Tribune on Thursday that the MC had initiated a total of 85 road development and plantation works at the cost of Rs 8,805.3 lakh across 8 Vidhan Sabha segments falling under the MC limits between 2020-21 and 2022-23, of which 58 works had already been completed at the cost of Rs 5,908.29 lakh while the remaining 27 works were in the advanced stage of completion at the cost of Rs 2,897.01 lakh.

Of the total 49 road development works initiated at the cost of Rs 6,195.38 lakh, as many as 39 have already been finished at the cost of Rs 4,490.214 lakh while the rest 10 projects worth Rs 1,705.44 lakh were still in progress.

While the Atam Nagar constituency got the maximum share of Rs 1,053.1 lakh, the minimum of Rs 241.69 lakh was being spent on road development works in the Ludhiana West segment.

Among other constituencies, Ludhiana Central got Rs 453.48 lakh, East Rs 959.9 lakh, North Rs 861.5 lakh, South Rs 614.95 lakh, Sahnewal Rs 480.63 lakh, and a sum of Rs 1,530.13 lakh was being across different parts of the city.

Of the 39 completed and 10 ongoing road development works, four have been finished and one was underway in Atam Nagar, five completed and one in progress in Central, three finished and four underway in East, eight completed and one in progress in North, two finished and one underway in Sahnewal, six completed and one in progress in South, all four completed in West, while seven works have been finished and one was underway across different parts of the city.

Ludhiana had got a whopping Rs 98 crore for environment protection under the NCAP between 2018 and 2023 but the pollution levels reached an alarming situation during this period, as per the latest report.

Of the total allocated funds, Ludhiana utilised Rs 56 crore, which accounted for almost 58 per cent of Rs 98 crore allocation but the most hazardous pollution levels in the city had gone up by almost 24 per cent during the past five years, the NCAP study has pointed out.

It showed that PM10 pollutants in Ludhiana rose from 106.4 in 2019 to 131.8 in 2023, which accounted for an increase of 23.9 per cent while the PM2.5 pollution level went up from 53.2 in 2019 to 60.9 in 2023, which was 14.5 per cent increase over the past five years.

It had led to Ludhiana becoming the 14th most polluted city in the country.

Amritsar and Mandi Gobindgarh in Punjab were also listed among the 20 most polluted cities in the country with maximum pollution levels, the study has said.

While Ludhiana has been the worst among three most polluted state cities with respect to PM10 pollution level, Mandi Gobindgarh has the maximum PM2.5 pollutants in Punjab.

The study revealed that Ludhiana got the maximum funds under NCAP in Punjab and Chandigarh as well but little more than half of the allocated amount could be spent for environment protection between 2018 and 2023.

Chandigarh had got Rs 28.783 crore, of which Rs 12.96 crore was utilised, accounting for 45.03 per cent of the total allocated funds, which had helped in bringing down the PM2.5 pollution level by 5.6 per cent while PM10 pollutants went up by 13.6 per cent from 2018 to 2023.

Among other Punjab cities, Amritsar had got Rs 73.25 crore, of which Rs 65.86 crore was spent, accounting for 89.91 per cent utilisation, despite which PM2.5 pollution level went up by 18.4 per cent and PM10 pollutants rose by 5.9 per cent, Pathankot and Dera Baba Nanak got Rs 4.73 crore, of which Rs 1.66 crore was utilised, Dera Bassi got Rs 1.115 crore, of which Rs 42 lakh was spent, Jalandhar got Rs 30.045 crore, of which Rs 2.63 crore was utilised, despite which PM2.5 pollution level went up by 0.6 per cet and PM10 pollutants decreased by 12.2 per cent, Khanna got Rs 5.18 crore, of which Rs 2.04 was spent, despite which PM2.5 pollutants increased by 3 per cent and PM10 pollution level went down by 1.9 per cent, Mandi Gobindgarh got Rs 5.269 crore, of which Rs 2.8 crore was utilised, Naya Nangal got Rs 2.718 crore, of which Rs 67 lakh was spent, and Patiala had received Rs 14.86 crore, of which Rs 2.96 crore as utilised, which helped in cutting down the PM2.5 pollution level by 1.8 per cent and PM10 pollutants by 17.1 per cent from 2018 to 2023.

The study had revealed that the PM10 pollution level in the state’s biggest and largest city, in terms of area and population close to 20 lakh, was recorded 106.4 in 2019, 98.3 in 2020,117.1 in 2021, 133.8 in 2022 and 131.8 in 2023.

The PM2.5 pollutants in Ludhiana were recorded at 53.2 in 2019, 45.1 in 2020, 54.2 in 2021, 61.9 in 2022, and 60.9 in 2023.

The five-year study examined the annual concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 in non-attainment cities from 2019 to 2023 from the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System (CAAQMS) data.

Worst in Punjab

Ranked 14th most polluted city in the country, Ludhiana has emerged as the worst polluted city in Punjab when it comes to PM10 pollution level. However, Mandi Gobindgarh, which has ranked 10th (PM2.5) and 15th (PM10) most polluted city in India, has the maximum PM2.5 pollutants in Punjab. Amritsar has ranked 16th most polluted city in India with respect to PM2.5 pollution level.

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