Mayors of Bengaluru, London come together to help Indian cities tackle toxic air pollution

Prime News, Naional/International, (New Delhi), December 5:-The Mayor of Bengaluru, Sampath Raj, and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced that London and Bengaluru will lead a global partnership of up to 20 other world cities on tackling air pollution in urban centres.

The C40 Air Quality Network will allow city leaders, from India and around the world, to share ideas, nurture innovation and drive ambition in the global effort to improve the quality of the air in cities.

C40’s new Air Quality Network will be co-chaired by the Mayor of London and the Mayor of Bengaluru, working with up to 20 other global cities to develop solutions to the international air pollution crisis. Bangalore will host a workshop for global cities to share best practice in tackling air quality in 2018

Six Indian cities-Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata and Mumbai-are members of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, an alliance of more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities committed to urgent action on climate change and air pollution. As C40 members these Indian cities will have direct access to the learnings from the Air Quality Network, in addition to specific air quality content in other C40 networks, including those on transport, buildings and energy, and waste.

“The City of Bengaluru is symbolic of the pace of urbanization we are seeing in India and in the global south. The city’s population has grown from 3.5 million in 1985 to nearly 11 million today. While this rapid growth has made the City of Bengaluru the driver of economic growth in the region, creating millions of jobs and market opportunities, the city has also experienced deteriorating air quality as a result of increased traffic congestion, and construction works. As the Mayor of the City of Bengaluru, I am keeping a close eye on quality of life in the city and air quality is one such indicator that directly impacts the health and well-being of our citizens,” said Mayor of Bengaluru, Sampath Raj.

“C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group has been working with and helping Bruhath Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) over several years now in exposing us to sustainable urban development best practices. We are extremely excited to be co-leading C40’s new Air Quality Network along with London. Together with London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, I look forward to bringing together mayors from cities around the world and sharing our lessons learned, to tackle the urgent need to address air quality in our cities,” he added.

Bangalore, together with other relevant State Government bodies and agencies have put in place several actions that will improve air quality, including:

  • 45 km of new wider sidewalks on 50 major city centre roads are improving walkability, reducing fatal accidents and supporting more people out of vehicles and walking. The Tender SURE Project is the first of its kind in India where new infrastructure such as storm water, water, sewer and telephone cables are being re-laid along with pedestrian infrastructure
  • Phase 2 of a new metro system is now complete and operational, making it easier for citizens to travel around the city without their private transport.
  • Bangalore is also working on last mile connectivity to all the metro stations by implementing Station Access Plans and thereby improving ease of access to metro stations
  • The state-government-run public transport operator is transitioning its current fleet of 6,300 diesel buses to an all-electric fleet of close to 12,000 buses in the next 10 years. The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation will shortly launch a tender for 150 electric buses
  • Penalty orders have been issued to businesses and citizens caught open garbage burning – a major contributor to air pollution. The city has already achieved 50 percent citywide segregation at source and has identified 16 streams of waste.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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