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Feb 15, 2021
8:59AM

Union Budget 2021-22: Overview of announcements for conservation of environment

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In our series on Union Budget 2021-22, today we bring you an overview of the announcements relating to the conservation of our environment. The government has proposed to allocate more than two thousand 869 Crore rupees to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change for the next fiscal. To tackle the burgeoning problem of air pollution, the government has proposed to provide an amount of two thousand 217 crore rupees for 42 urban centres with a million-plus population.
 
In the Budget Speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles. This would reduce vehicular pollution.
 
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The government has announced that a Deep Ocean Mission will be launched. It will cover deep ocean survey exploration and deep sea bio-diversity conservation projects. The proposed budget outlay of the mission is more than four thousand crore rupees over five years. The government has proposed to launch a Hydrogen Energy Mission in 2021-22 for generating hydrogen from green power sources. To give a further boost to the non-conventional energy sector, the government has made a provision for an additional capital infusion of one thousand crore rupees to Solar Energy Corporation of India and one thousand 500 crore rupees to Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency. The government has also announced to launch Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) 2.0 .
 
The government intends to focus on complete faecal sludge management and waste water treatment, source segregation of garbage, reduction in single-use plastic, reduction in air pollution by effectively managing waste from construction-and-demolition activities and bio-remediation of all legacy dump sites to ensure cleanliness of urban areas. Liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities as a part of Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) also features in the budget announcements.
 
The Mission also includes rejuvenation of water bodies and creation of green spaces and sponge cities to reduce floods. In the budget, emphasis has also been laid on increasing the share of public transport in urban areas. Protecting the environment requires a multipronged strategy. It is for this reason that schemes of different ministries converge in the mission of conserving the environment.

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