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NITI Aayog’s 3-Year Action Plan: Summary Of Sustainability Agenda From 2017-18 To 2019-20

On 23 April, NITI Aayog, India’s apex planning agency, released its Three Year Action Agenda from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Charting “an ambitious, transformational yet achievable action agenda for the government between 2017-18 and 2019-20”, the report is divided into seven parts

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On 23 April, NITI Aayog, India’s apex planning agency, released its Three Year Action Agenda from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Charting “an ambitious, transformational yet achievable action agenda for the government between 2017-18 and 2019-20”, the report is divided into seven parts, constituting topics such as three-year revenue and expenditure, economic transformation in major sectors, regional development, growth enablers, government, social sectors and sustainability.

The topic sustainability is divided into two chapters in the report, environment and forests, and sustainable management of water resources.

Some of the key agendas in environment and forests are:
1. Reducing air pollution

  • Find alternatives to crop residue burning
  • Reduce pollution from cooking fires
  • Install flue gas de-sulphurizers on all coal power-plants in or close to densely populated areas except those less than 5 MW capacity and those older than 25 years by 2020
  • Reduce pollution from brick kilns
  • Reduce in-city vehicle pollution

2. Regulation of pollution industries by institutional strengthening

3. Reducing solid waste and strengthening Swachh Bharat by taxing plastic production and import

4. Forests and tree cover
  • Improve effectiveness of afforestation programs
  • Remove restrictions on forest product markets
  • Prevent forest fragmentation by linear projects
  • Invasive species control
  • Reversal on policies subsidising palm oil cultivation

The report calls to address issues of “high levels of air pollution in the cities, black carbon pollution indoors from the use of biomass fuels in cooking, massive volumes of solid waste in urban areas and deforestation”. In order to address these issues, the report calls to “strengthen and streamline regulatory structures governing sustainability of the environment”, while on the other hand, “remove hurdles that adversely impact growth without protecting the environment”.

Some of the key agendas in sustainable management of water resources include:
  1. Providing irrigation to all farms (Har Khet ko Paani) with improved on-farm water-use efficiency (per drop more crop)
  2. Encouraging industries to utilise recycled/treated water and ensure zero discharge of untreated effluents
  3. Creating additional water storage capacity to enhance utilization of surface water resources potential of 690 BCM
  4. Ensuring long term sustainability of limited ground-water resources
  5. Facilitating effective water governance
  6. Developing benchmark for water footprint in the irrigation sector
  7. Implementation of National Hydrology Project and establishing and upgrading of existing Hydro-met networks across India
  8. Interlinking of rivers through National Water Development Agency Continuation of Namami Gange, an integrated Ganga conservation mission launched in 2014-15
  9. Continuation of Namami Gange, an integrated Ganga conservation mission launched in 2014-15

As “sources of water supply remain scarce”, the report seeks to address issues of “water scarcity, uneven distribution of water resources across people, sectors and regions, deteriorating water quality and

excessive dependence on groundwater”.

The report calls for the Centre and state to work together “towards common national goals” to “meet India’s development challenges”. It states that “minimum government, maximum governance” and “competitive and cooperative federalism” are critical to achieving the “full potential and creating a modern India, which brings prosperity to all of its 125 crore citizens”.


Tags assigned to this article:
sustainability niti aayog environment forest