New Delhi - Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav has asked all stakeholders including the citizens to sincerely and earnestly contribute to achieve cleaner air and healthier lives for all.\n\n\n\nThe Union Minister Bhupender Yadav was speaking at an event in New Delhi to mark the second International Day of clean Air For Blue Skies. Bhupender Yadav on the occasion virtually inaugurated the first functional smog tower in India at Anand Vihar, Delhi and expressed hope that the pilot smog tower project will yield fruitful results and supplement the air quality improvement efforts .A smog tower is a structure designed as large and medium scale air purifiers to reduce air pollution, usually by forcing the air through filters.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe smog tower at Anand Vihar with a height of over 20 meter is of downdraft type, i.e. polluted air comes in from the top of the tower and clean air comes out of the bottom is intended for localised reduction in air pollution (Particulate Matter). The filtration system used in the tower has been designed by University of Minnesota with an expected efficiency of 90 percent. 40 fan units have been installed to provide a design airflow rate of 1000 m3\/sec. The tower has been built by Tata Projects Limited with NBCC (India) Ltd. as the project management consultant.\n\n\n\nBhupender Yadav stated that the Central Government has launched several initiatives to improve air quality in the entire country, with the Prime Minister himself setting a goal for holistic improvement in air quality in more than 100 cities. \u201c86 cities showed better air quality in 2019 in comparison to 2018, which increased to 104 cities in 2020\u201d, informed Bhupender Yadav the Environment Minister.\n\n\n\nBhupender Yadav said that the Government under the leadership of the Prime Minister is now actively linking all policy approaches to give paramount importance to conserve public goods like water, air and Earth.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe event also witnessed launch of a portal named \u201cPRANA\u201d \u2013 Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in Non-Attainment cities under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are implementing National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in the country since 2019 with targets to achieve 20 to 30 % reduction in Particulate Matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5) concentrations by 2024 across the country.\n\n\n\nCity-specific action plans for improving air quality for 132 Non- attainment cities (NACs) and Million Plus Cities (MPC) targeting city specific air polluting sources (Soil & Road Dust, Vehicles, Domestic Fuel, MSW Burning, Construction Material and Industries) have been prepared and are already being implemented. The portal\n\n\n\nSo far, 375.44 crores have been released to 114 cities during FY 2019-20 & 2020-21 for initiating actions under city action plan. Further, 4400 cores have been released to 42 cities with million plus population as per recommendations of 15th Finance Commission report for FY 2020-21. This is in addition to funds available through various Central and State government schemes.\n\n\n\nThe event was also attended by Payden, Deputy WHO Representative who lauded India\u2019s efforts on tackling Air Pollution and its leadership role on Climate Change. Dr Antje C. Berger, Counsellor, Climate and Environment, Embassy of the German Federal Republic of Germany who also addressed the event said that technological solutions play a key role in mitigating the Environment Challenges that the world faces today.\n\n\n\nAtul Bagai, Head of Country Office, UNEP India, Shri Tanmay Kumar, Chairman, CPCB and various officials of the Ministry, ministers from states, mayors of cities and officials involved in the implementation of National Clean Air Programme at city level also participated in the hybrid event.