Air quality index a beginning for tackling pollution: Javedekar

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New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will inaugurate a two-day Conference of Environment and Forest Ministers of States and Union Territories on April 4 at Vigyan Bhawan. Interacting with media persons at Paryavaran Bhavan here today, the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said that the Prime Minister will launch the National Air Quality Index i.e. one number, one color and one description to inform the public about air quality in a simple and an easily understandable form. The AQI would be available for 10 cities, on a real-time basis from that day. 46 cities, with a population of more than one million and 20 state capitals will be covered in the next couple of years. This will enhance public awareness and involvement in air quality improvement.

The programme of the Conference reflects the growing awareness of various issues concerning environment, forest and climate change. A combined session on “Waste to Wealth” on the first day will discuss rules regarding solid waste, e-waste, hazardous waste, plastic waste and bio-medical waste. A copy of the latest report on Tiger Census will be presented to the Prime Minister during the inaugural session of the Conference.

Another combined session on April 6 will focus on “Ease of doing Business and TSR report” covering forest and wildlife issues. At present, there are six laws under Environment and Forest, viz Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (EP Act); Forest (Conservation) Act, Wildlife Act, 1972, The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (Water Act); The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and The Indian Forests Act, 1927. All these Acts are being reviewed. The second combined session will have a detailed discussion on strengthening of environment and forest laws, rules & processes.

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