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Green future for Indian cities

  • IASbaba
  • June 9, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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ENVIRONMENT/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-3: Environmental Conservation

Green future for Indian cities

Context: A progressive track of urban development while keeping sustainability, disaster risk resilience and community building at its core has been the guiding principle for urban development in India.

The following national programmes and missions of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has contributed to the mitigation of Climate Change and helping India progress towards greener cities

The Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) 

  • This scheme focuses on achieving an open-defecation-free India, building solid waste management capacity and bringing about behavioural change. 
  • Through the annual Swachh Survekshan, cooperative and competitive federalism have become the driving force behind this citizen-led jan andolan.
  • It is estimated that the various initiatives under SBM-U can mitigate 17.42 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2022.
  • It was, in effect, the harbinger of a total transformation of our urban landscape. 

The Smart Cities Mission 

  • This mission has been the one taking charge of the technological advancements of our cities to improve governance, sustainability and disaster risk resilience. 
  • Smart solutions are being implemented to improve energy efficiency and non-motorised transport capacity in urban centres. 
  • The Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework has been adopted which aims to help cities adapt, collaborate and exchange best practices to achieve international standards for green, sustainable and resilient urban habitats. 
  • So far, the infrastructure for 417.5 km of smart roads, solar panels generating 30 MW of energy and 253.5 MLD of wastewater treatment capacity has been completed. 
  • The overall reduction in GHG emissions from projects implemented under SCM is expected to reach 4.93 million tonnes of CO2 by 2022.

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

  • Under AMRUT, water supply and management, energy efficiency and increased green spaces have been part of the goal in 500 target cities.
  • As of June 2021, 1,831 parks over 3,700 acres have been developed, 85 lakh street lights have been replaced, resulting in energy saving of 185.33 crore units (kWh), and 106 water bodies have been rejuvenated. 
  • The mission is likely to result in the mitigation of 48.52 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent of GHG emissions by 2022.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)

  • With 1.12 crore houses sanctioned, PMAY(U) has focused on new construction technologies that are innovative, environmentally friendly and disaster-resilient. 
  • The Global Housing Technology Challenge was launched, and 54 new technologies identified & incorporated in construction.
  • About 43.3 lakh houses are being constructed where fly ash bricks/blocks and concrete blocks are being used. 
  • Overall, the mission has the potential to mitigate around 12 million tonnes CO2 equivalent of GHG emissions by 2022.

Public Transport- Metro

  • Lastly, the metro rail, an energy-efficient mass rapid transit system, is operational in 18 cities with over 720 km of line constructed. 
  • Another 1,055 km of new lines is under construction in 27 cities. 
  • This network is expected to mitigate around 21.58 million tonnes of CO2 eq GHG from 2015-2022. 

Conclusion 

Cumulatively, the national missions under the MoHUA are projected to mitigate GHG emissions equivalent to more than 93 million tonnes of CO2 by 2022. This number is bound to increase.

Connecting the dots:

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