New drive launched to improve air quality Jan 12, 2019 0 128 12345 AFPNew DelhiIndia has launched a new campaign to improve air quality in more than 100 of its pollution-stricken cities, although an environment group said it lacked detail and the legal backing to ensure it is enforced.Air quality in the country of more than 1.25 billion people has deteriorated to critical levels in recent years, with the capital New Delhi and 13 other Indian cities in the top 15 of a UN list of the world’s most polluted cities.Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said late Thursday the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) will cover 102 cities and aim to cut levels of the most dangerous particles under 10 microns in diameter by 20 to 30 percent by 2024. The particles are blamed for growing numbers of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease in Indian cities.The government has allotted three billion rupees ($42 million) to implement the plan which aims to plug the main pollution sources -- industrial and traffic emissions, the mass burning of agricultural waste and construction -- without setting out how this will be done. Vardhan said only that the NCAP would carry out “comprehensive mitigation actions for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.”Environmental groups, who have long accused the government of dragging its feet in the battle against pollution, cautiously welcomed the announcement.“The plan was long overdue and is a great step forward but we need to have clarity on targets and accountability,” Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner for Greenpeace India, told AFP. RELATED ARTICLES Alok Verma quits govt service, says justice scuttled in his case Jan 12, 2019 0 286 SP-BSP alliance will humble BJP in LS polls: Akhilesh Jan 12, 2019 0 214 India being divided under Modi, help unite nation: Rahul to expats Jan 12, 2019 0 189 PM Modi to open Vibrant Gujarat Summit on Jan 18 Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the ninth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit themed, ‘Shaping a New India’, on January 18 as the state gears up for its flagship biennial summit, which .. SC seeks action over illegal mining in Meghalaya New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked what action has been taken against the owner of the illegal coal mine located in East Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya in which 15 miners are trapped since December 13. “What .. India slams Pakistan PM’s charge of rejecting peace overtures IANS New Delhi India on Friday slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s charge that New Delhi has rejected his peace overtures, saying Pakistani ministers continue to share public platforms with internationally .. Protests against citizenship bill intensify in Meghalaya IANS Shillong Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill got louder in Meghalaya on Friday with three pressure groups burning the effigies of the NDA government and the legislation. In Shillong, activists of the .. Three Maoists arrested in Ranchi Ranchi: Three Maoist guerrillas were arrested with weapons here on Friday, police said. The Maoists, belonging to the outlawed People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), were arrested on the border of Ranchi and Khuti .. India’s 2nd moon mission in mid-April IANS Bengaluru India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 with a lander and rover will be attempted in mid-April, a top space official said on Friday. “We are targeting mid-April to launch Chandrayaan-2 as there were .. 12 boys paraded semi-nude in premises of govt company IANS Bhandara (Maharashtra) In a barbaric form of punishment, at least a dozen young boys were caught and allegedly paraded semi-nude inside the premises of a prestigious central government company on January 3, a top .. Soldier, officer killed in explosion near LoC in J&K Jammu: Two Army soldiers were killed on Friday in an explosion near the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district. Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said: “Today one officer and another .. Dera chief convicted for scribe’s murder IANS Chandigarh Holding him guilty of conspiracy to murder, a special CBI court in Haryana’s Panchkula town on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for the murder of journalist Ram Chander ..