Presenting his fifth straight budget in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region was a "cause of concern".
"A special scheme will be implemented to support the efforts of the governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT of Delhi to address air pollution and to subsidise machinery required for institutional management of crop residue," he said.
The budgetary allocation for the environment ministry for 2018-19 is Rs 2,675.42 crore, identical to last budget's allocation. The ministry had got an increase of nearly 19 per cent during the 2017-18 budget.
The recently released Economic Survey had called Delhi one of the "unhealthiest" cities in the world in terms of air pollution.
The survey had suggested heavy penalties for burning agricultural waste and more incentives for farmers to prevent the "alarmingly" poor air quality in Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas.
Scientists are working to develop a viable process to handle stubble, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said today.
"Machinery required for institutional management of crop residue will be subsidised. Our scientists are also working to develop a viable process to handle stubble," he said while referring to the special scheme to address air pollution.
In this year's budget, Rs 20 crore has been earmarked for pollution abatement under which funding to five State Control Boards (SPCBs) for ongoing and new projects under assistance for Abatement of Pollution is envisaged.
It also talks about completion of three ongoing Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) and two to three new projects under environmental health category.
'ProjectTiger' has been allocated Rs 350 crore and the deliverables against the outlay include financial assistance to 50 tiger reserves.
Similarly, for 'ProjectElephant', an allocation of Rs 30 crore has been given which aims at among others giving financial assistance to 29 elephant reserves.
Under the Green India Mission's National Afforestation Programme, an allocation of Rs 160 crore has been done under which the derivables include increased forest cover on 6163.8 hectare of forest and non-forest lands among others.
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