On World Environment Day, P Raghavendra Rao, the chairperson of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), said the plan was to lower the dependency on fossil fuels like coal and cut down on carbon footprints. At present, Haryana generates 1,200MW of solar energy every year. It plans to increase the output by 20-30%.
“We just have one earth. The rate at which we are consuming the resources, the planet is unable to rejuvenate. We are over-exploiting nature. We need to change our lifestyle to reduce the rate of our consumption. So, we are preparing an action plan for Haryana that is focused on renewable energy and minimising the misuse of fossil fuels like coal. The aim is to shift to renewable energy. We are working on that,” Rao said at an event in Faridabad.
As part of the state action plan, all departments concerned have been given specific targets to work out their proposals. They have been asked to improve the emission intensity and bring it down to below the 2005 levels, increase the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40% by 2030, and have an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes through forest cover.
“The action plan is being finalised in the light of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) goals. We are trying to reduce national emissions, combat climate change and adapt to its effects,” said S Narayana, member secretary of the HSPCB.
Some of the most important targets have been assigned in the sectors of energy, water and forests. While the energy sector is aiming at enhancing the renewable energy capacity to 9,000 MW by 2030, the water sector plans to improve its efficiency through various missions and programmes.
“The forest sector will have to create an additional carbon sink through the National Mission for Green India, Intensification of Forest Management Scheme, National Afforestation Programme (NAP) and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to meet the target of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent,” Narayana said.
The event was organised in Faridabad because it is the only district in Haryana that is on the list of non-attainment cities under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). A non-attainment city is one whose air did not meet the national ambient air quality standards between 2011 and 2015. The NCAP was launched for such cities, seeking to reduce pollution by 20-30% by 2024, using the 2017 levels as base.
“We will ensure that all parameters improve by the next World Environment Day. We will also try to control dust emission from roads, which is a major contributor to pollution. Yes, there is a lot of scope for improvement, and we are working to curb the problems,” said Jitender Yadav, the Faridabad deputy commissioner.