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Clean Air Projects

Air pollution became a serious issue in many Indian cities in the last years, which requires urgent action. Air pollution levels are far beyond limits in many Indian cities due to sources from within the cities (among others from vehicles) as well as dust from open areas, usage of fuels for cooking, burning of waste, burning of crop residue by farmers, industrial emissions and construction work. A study of the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that based on air pollution data, 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities are in India (2018). In 122 Indian cities air pollution levels have exceeded air quality standards continuously over the last 5 years and are therefore declared as non-attainment cities. At the same time, air pollution levels are not even monitored regularly in many other Indian cities. The exposure to air pollution leads to diseases such as strokes, heart diseases, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia. At the same time, source inventories and monitoring systems for air pollution as well as air quality management in India are weak. Altogether, there is a need for an integrated approach and technically sound as well as financially viable solutions and systems to be put in place together with legal and regulatory measures.

The Government of India has now made the topic of air pollution as one of their priorities. The Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zussammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been supporting the Government of India for over 20 years (1990-2010) in air quality monitoring, on the development of air laboratories, mobile monitoring, source apportionment studies, guidelines for incinerators as well as with training and capacity building. MoEFCC indicated that the tackling of air pollution became a high priority for the Government of India, which could be addressed in the framework of the Indo-German Development Cooperation. Based on this, GIZ supported MoEFCC with the organisation of the Roundtable “National Clean Air Programme: Combatting Air Pollution in India” in November 2018 in Delhi, where different stakeholders exchanged information about their current and planned activities for combatting air pollution and decided to cooperate in a coordinated manner on the topic of clean air. Mexican representatives and experts in particular showed interest in supporting India in the implementation of NCAP in close cooperation with German Development Cooperation. Following the discussions it was agreed to initiate projects for Clean Air.