A joint report by NITI Aayog and CII proposes steps to tackle emissions from construction and demolition as well as production and transportation of construction material so as to improve air quality.
- Mandatory funds allocation for air quality management under the Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER) in cities with high pollution levels
- Incentives for co-firing biomass in existing coal power units and giving priority status to clean generation and gas-based thermal power generation units.
- Compulsory provisions for air quality management during construction must be adopted under the National Building Code.
- Favourable taxation is recommended for all sustainable building materials.
- Comprehensive strategy to address the particulate matter from concerned sub sectors must be made encompassing -
- prevention and control of fugitive emissions across construction activities at sites,
- operation of various utilities including waste management within NCR and allied construction industry including brick kilns, concrete batching plants, stone crusher etc.
- Stringent Penalty by local bodies for violations must be imposed on both private as well as public authorities.
- Less polluting fuel for power generation must be used.
- Tighter norms for use of diesel in power generation must be formulated.
- Greater accountability from local agencies or authorities is required for effective implementation of clean air action in the National Capital Region.
- Focus must be on improved Crop Residue management so as to reduce stubble burning. Machines must be made available to farmers at minimum cost for cutting crop residue.
If we wish to breathe fresh air, it is imperative for the industry to adopt the recommendations of the report across sectors, be it manufacturing, energy generation or construction; and embed it into its business strategy, policies and future plans. Further businesses should shift from environmental compliance to environmental stewardship for the sake of healthy planet.