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Surat City takes action to improve air quality

The city is working on its air quality through the National Clean Air Programme(NCAP) and Surat Clean Air Action Plan (SCAP)

SURAT, 3 DECEMBER 2021: Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) in collaboration with think-tank World Resources Institute India (WRI India) and Bloomberg Philanthropies organized a stakeholder workshop to address emissions from priority sections and strengthen the city’s Clean Air Action Plan – Surat Clean Air Action Plan (SCAP).

The intent of the workshop was to understand and implement interventions identified for control of road dust re-suspension and to bolster the already existing framework of actions for open municipal solid waste (MSW) burning and emissions from the construction sector.

The workshop, that included talks, presentations and a panel discussion, was attended by Mr Banchhanidhi Pani (IAS), Municipal Commissioner, SMC, Mrs Hemali Boghawala, the Mayor of Surat City, and Mr. P U Dave, Regional Officer, Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) Surat, among others. The event also saw interaction by representatives from Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) Surat, SMC, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Vadodara, WRI India, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Project Surat and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Delivering the inaugural speech Hon. Mayor of Surat, Mrs. Hemali Boghawala, indicated that Surat has been recognized as the 2nd cleanest city in India for two years in a row now and would be anticipating working in collaboration with other stakeholders for the cleanest air city in India. Mrs. Boghawala stated that she will listen to all stakeholders who are willing to work on improving the quality of air in Surat city.

Key areas discussed during the workshop were emissions specific to Indian urban agglomerations, how best to drive policies to address the nature of non-exhaust emissions while simultaneously working to control their tailpipe counterparts and actions to manage particulate matter (PM) control in sectors such as open waste burning and construction activities.

The concluding remarks for the event were from officials from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), Central Pollution Control Board and Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) who indicated that there will be authentic data sharing and transparency to ensure collaborative efforts aimed at positioning Surat city at the forefront of clean air cities in India.

The Government of India (GoI) is taking various steps to improve air quality in cities. While the Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 has a component of air pollution reduction, GoI is also funding cities to improve ambient air quality through a new performance-based grant from the 15th Finance Commission.

SMC and GPCB in collaboration with WR India last year developed SCAP under the National Clean Air Action Plan (NCAP). A city-specific air quality management plan, SCAP is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

While NCAP covers well-versed actions on construction and open burning of municipal solid waste, it does not cover mitigation of non-exhaust emissions, which are resuspended particulate emissions, and focuses only on road dust dispersion at traffic junctions. So, while emission standards for exhaust particles from motor vehicles are becoming more stringent worldwide, non-exhaust emissions largely go unregulated,” said Ajay Nagpure, Head, Air Quality Program, WRI India.

Surat City has been ranked as the second cleanest city in India two years in row since 2021 and is aiming to top Swachh Survekshan 2021. However, the city has been identified as one of the 132 non-attainment cities in India with road dust and municipal open waste burning being the key areas of concern along with construction emissions. This workshop will help formalise priority sectors’ emission regulation through SCAP components’ implementation.

About Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC)
Surat Municipal Corporation is a local self-government which has come into being under the Bombay Provincial Municipal Act, 1949. It carries out all the obligatory functions and discretionary functions entrusted by the BPMC Act,1949 with the following mission: To make Surat a dynamic, vibrant, beautiful, self-reliant and sustainable city with all basic amenities to provide a better quality of life.

About World Resources Institute, India (WRI India)
WRI India provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development. Our work focuses on building sustainable and liveable cities and working towards a low carbon economy. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being. We are inspired by and associated with World Resources Institute (WRI) a global research organization.  Explore our work on our websites: wri-india.org I wricitiesindia.org

Media contacts:
Nitya Kaushik | WRI India : nitya.kaushik@wri.org, +91 9819902763

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