Mumbai is set to get the biggest share, ₹488 crore of the total ₹4, 400 crore National Clean Air budget, parked with the Urban Development Ministry. Mumbai’s local bodies will control more funds than the environment ministry’s annual budget of ₹460 crore earmarked for the National Clean Air Plan (NCAP). The Centre, in its 2020-21 budget, allocated ₹4,400 crore to clean air pollution in cities with populations of more than a million.
Forty-two of 50 such cities in states will benefit from the fund. Remaining eight cities are kept out of its ambit as air quality is not a major issue there. The second highest annual allocation is to Kolkata ( ₹385 crore), followed by Bengaluru ( ₹279 crore), Hyderabad ( ₹234 crore) and Patna ( ₹204 crore). Half of the annual grant will be released based on the performance, that will include assessment of the improvement in reduction of particulate matters, PM 10 and PM2.5 (equal weightage of 50%) as calculated in January 2021. The first instalments will be used to build capacity of local bodies.
Covid-19 hampering transition to cleaner BS-VI vehicles, as China shuts down parts market
Coronavirus may badly hit India’s transition to cleaner BS VI fuel compliant vehicles in India as the supply parts from China is disrupted by the virus outbreak, warned the automobile manufacturers’ lobby, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). They said many automakers in India import about 10% of their raw materials from China. Therefore any disruption in supplies may critically hamper production across all segments including Passenger Vehicles (PV), Commercial Vehicles (CV), Three-Wheelers (3W), Two-Wheelers (2W) and gravely affecting Electric Vehicles (EVs).
Not just in India, supply of parts from China has hit the global market. Analysts warn of a bigger fear: following the outbreak consumers are losing interest in buying cars and trucks. As the global cases rise and new ones get reported in the US, experts estimate a cut in 2020 sales by nearly 300,000 units in the US alone, which would be the lowest since 2014. Globally 3.5 million units have been deducted from the forecast, more than half of which is attributed to China.
Lung damage from air pollution likely to increase coronavirus death rate
Compromised lungs because of long-standing air pollution in cities are likely to increase the coronavirus death rate, experts have said. City dwellers and those exposed to toxic fumes are at a higher risk than others. Scientists cited evidence from previous coronavirus outbreaks showing that those exposed to dirty air are more at risk of dying. Analyses of the Sars coronavirus outbreak in China in 2003 found that infected people who lived in areas with more air pollution were twice as likely to die as those in less polluted places.
Anti-air pollution beauty products dethrone fairness creams
Fairness creams have been dethroned by anti-air pollution skin care products – that’s the conclusion of the latest study by Nielson. The global data and research company said that traditionally, fairness had comprised half the ₹7,000 crore skincare category, anti-pollution creams are rising in the double-digits compared with overall skincare, which is growing at 7%. Toxic air quality, depleting ozone layer, and wider climate concerns have all caused a huge shift in consumers’ attitude over the past few years, the study said.