The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has prepared a roadmap to utilize its environment fund made up of cess on the sale of high-end diesel cars that has been lying unutilised for months. The country’s apex pollution regulator has around Rs 40 crore in its Environment Protection Fund (EPC) as of now, a CPCB official said. The CPCB has been collecting one per cent cess from dealers selling diesel cars with engine capacity of 2000 CC and above in Delhi-NCR region following a directive from Supreme Court in August last year.
The regulator has now invited Expression of Interest (EOI) and proposals for projects and studies on improvement and management of air quality in the region, laying major emphasis on boosting its pollution monitoring infrastructure. According to the EOI document, the projects will have to focus on areas such as the health impact of air pollution and on possible steps to create awareness among the masses by installing LED panels displaying pollution levels among others. Separately, the Supreme Court has directed CPCB to use around Rs 2.5 crore from the EPC corpus in setting up pollution monitoring centres across NCR, Anumita Roychowdhury of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said.
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Following the SC order, the CPCB had opened an account in the Union Bank of India to collect the cess amount. The CPCB official said that the proposals will be accepted throughout the year, however it has set cut-off dates for their consideration by an appraisal committee. “The cut-off dates will be June 30, 2017, October 20, 2017 and February 28, 2018. The proposals will be evaluated the corresponding next month, for example, proposals submitted by June 30, 2017 will be evaluated in the month of July,” he said.