August 20, 2021 1:35:58 pm
Nashik, on Thursday, entered the global ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, a global endeavour aimed at achieving a carbon-neutral status for cities.
The campaign was founded last December under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The state environment and climate change department announced the entry of Nashik which becomes the first non-metro city in India to join the race. Mumbai, too, is likely to join the campaign soon.
The environment department, in a statement, said that Nashik has taken up nine “commitments” which will help it attain a “net zero” status by the year 2040. These include developing “complete neighbourhoods” across the city where residents will be able to meet most of their needs within a short walk or bicycle ride from their homes, instead of having to travel longer distances using motor vehicles.
Under the initiative, the city will also develop financial support programmes to incentivise the deployment of building-scale renewables and mandate the use of renewables through building codes.
The city plans to utilise grants to the tune of Rs 20.5 crore that it received from the 15th Finance Commission to reduce air pollution by constructing electric crematoriums and introduce sanitary waste management technologies for the Nashik Municipal Corporation as unsanitary landfills contribute directly to climate change-associated emissions.
“All waste generated in the city will be collected and residual waste will be disposed of adequately in an engineered sanitary landfill,” the environment department said.
“Reducing air pollution is a major step towards tackling climate change and adopting carbon neutrality. Under the Race to Zero initiative, NMC will have a much-needed platform that will support our best practices in that regard,” Nashik Municipal Corporation commissioner Kailas Jadhav said.
In addition, Nashik has also prioritized carbon-free transport in the city by developing smart roads and dedicated cycling infrastructure. The city has also planned the development of a clean public transport system using electric buses and CNG fuel. In the next four years, the city is attempting to adopt cleaner public transport, with a pilot program for zero-emission buses on the cards during the same period.
Other commitments include establishing baseline levels of air pollutants to set reduction targets to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. A plan to tackle emissions from the city’s largest contributors is expected to be in place by 2025.
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