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intracity green trading to curb pollution

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Basic theme: An intracity green trading setup shall be established in every city
to promote/reward eco-friendly activities and demotivate eco-hostile activities

Introduction:

(1) Pollution is increasing day by day in India. Of the world’s top 20 polluted cities, 13
are in India. In these cities, pollution has soared to hazardous levels around 20 times
the limit recommended by the World Health Organization.
(2) Ganga and Yamuna are ranked among the world’s 10 most polluted rivers.
(3) Environment pollution has negatively affected the life of both human beings and
animals.
(4) Air pollution causes severe lung diseases and brain disorders.
(5) Soil pollution has negative effect on farm output ratio. It also contaminates ground
water.
(6) Noise pollution has negative effect on hearing or auditory sense organs. Thermal
pollution increases environmental temperature.
(7) Transportation is the largest single source of air pollution.
(8) India’s rapidly growing population along with increased economic development has
put enormous pressure on the country’s natural resource base.
(9) Green taxes (also called environmental taxes or pollution taxes) are excise taxes on
environmental pollutants or on goods whose use produces such pollutants. Raising
revenue from environmental taxes and reducing environmental pollution are the two
main objectives of green taxes. But unfortunately, current green tax incentives do very
little to reduce emissions. Though there is (green) tax on eco-hostile activities but no
reward for eco-friendly activities.

Scope:

(1) Reforestation and use of (eco-friendly) non-conventional sources of energy are the
cheapest but most effective means of reducing pollution level.
(2) Plants help in drawing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They recharge
ground water and sustain stream flow and can be used as noise barrier.
(3) Properly placed trees around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30%
and noise pollution by 40%. Trees provide shield from ultraviolet rays.
(4) One tree can absorb as much carbon in a year as a car produces while driving
26000 miles. Over the course of its life, a single tree can absorb 1 tonne of carbon
dioxide.
(5) A single tree produces approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year. That means
two mature trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family
(6) Phytoremediation is the use of living green plants for reduction and/or removal of
contaminants from contaminated soil, water, sediments and air. It is a cost-effective
plant based approach to remediation.
(7) Non conventional sources of energy are cheap, pollution free, ‘clean and green’
energy sources, promotion of which will be helpful to control pollution level. This energy
is abundant, renewable and eco-friendly.
(8) Current green tax initiatives do very little to reduce pollution. Reward for eco-friendly
activities and penalty for eco-hostile activities, at individual level, is necessary to control
pollution level with public participation. Individual action is must to combat climate
change.
(9) Personal green trading has potential to engage individuals in taking action to combat
climate change and to achieve significant reduction in pollution level in progressive way.
This means with government and industries, each and every one of us must take
responsibility for our own impact on the climate. ‘Reduce what you can and offset what
you can’t’ approach is essential to protect human beings from hazardous effects of
pollution.

Objectives:

(1) To reduce energy intensity of the Indian economy by promoting efficient energy use.
(2) To reduce pollution with public participation.
(3) To promote the use of eco-friendly non-conventional sources of energy.
(4) To establish green trading setup, for intracity green trading, to promote/reward ecofriendly
activities and demotivate eco-hostile activities.
(5) To engage individuals in taking action to combat climate change.
(6) Use of information technology and remote sensing to recompense and prevent
environmental damage.
(7) To assure the fundamental right of living in pollution free environment.

Setup:

(1) An autonomous body named ‘eco-commission’ shall be established in each city for
intracity green trading.
(2) This commission will be equipped with GPS monitoring system and a task force.
(3) The commission will have a toll free number and an online shopping site for
shopping of eco-friendly appliances (like solar cooker, CFLs, etc.).
(4) Every household will be given a digital green card (encoded with the information of
green credits of the household).
(5) The commission will establish Green ATMs in the city to encash green credits.

Components of the scheme:

For setting up of an intracity green trading centre, the requirements are as follows:
(1) Space for green trading centre: 700 sq. ft. to 800 sq. ft. of built up space for office
with storage room (for storing of eco-friendly products) and computerized room (for
operating online green trading and shopping)
(2) Website and software program for intracity green trading
(3) Ecosoft: A software program for central eco-commission to monitor the progress of
the scheme
(4) Vehicles for home delivery of eco-friendly products

Working:

(1) Eco-commission established for intracity green trading will conduct a survey of the
households of the city through its taskforce and GPS monitoring system. The
commission will examine and take note of the eco-friendly and eco-hostile activities of
the households.
a) Eco-friendly activities includes activities like number of trees they have planted in
their yard, appliances of non-conventional sources of energy like solar water heater,
solar powered bulbs they use and eco-friendly plants like biogas plant, rain water
harvesting plant, bio compost plant, bio fuel plant they have build, eco-friendly vehicles
like bicycle, solar/electric two/four whillers they use, etc.
b) Eco-hostile activities includes activities like number of diesel/petrol vehicles they own,
annual use of LPG cylinders, use of refrigerator, air conditioner, petrol/diesel-run
electricity generator, etc.
(2) The commission will then allot green cards to the households encoded with their +ve
or -ve green credits by calculating eco-friendly and eco-hostile activities mentioned
above. [For example: 1 unit of green credits = Rs. 1000, 1 mature tree = +1 unit, 1 solar
water heater = +1 unit, 1 biogas plant = +5 units, 1 bicycle = 1/2 unit, 1 petrol/diesel run
four whiller vehicle = -2 units, 1 petrol/diesel run two whiller vehicle = -1 unit (vehicles
having emission control system + high mileage will be given some concession), 1
refrigerator/air conditioner = -1 unit]
(3) The household carrying -ve green credits in their account (due to more eco-hostile
activities than eco-friendly activities) will have to compensate the -ve green credits by
doing eco-friendly activities like planting trees or using non-conventional sources of
energy like solar water heater, biogas plant, etc. The households will be able to buy top
up credits from households carrying +ve green credits in their account. But there will be
a limit of buying green credits. They will be able to buy only 1/2 (50%) the green credits
of their -ve green credits. To compensate the remaining 1/2 (50%) -ve green credits,
they will have to do eco-friendly activities.
(4) Eco-commission will conduct the intracity green trading and one will be able to
encash his/her green credits through Green ATMs made available in the city. The
amount paid will be driven by market forces.
(5) Households wanting to earn green credits for sell will be able to earn them by
planting more and more trees in their yards, by using eco-friendly appliances like solar
water heater or by building water harvesting plants, biogas plant, etc. They will be able
to plant the trees on government owned empty and barren lands, indicated by ecocommission,
nearby them.
(6) Eco-commission will annually conduct survey of the households to examine their
eco-activities. Green credits will be allotted on annual basis.
(7) The commission will identify ‘hotspots’ (where pollution level is high and vegetation
density is low like industrial zones, barren lands, etc.) of the city by using GPS
monitoring system and other available data. It will encourage people to plant more and
more trees, by giving extra green credits per tree, in these areas. The commission will
also strongly promote the use of eco-friendly non-conventional sources of energy in
these areas.
(8) Eco-commission will give suggestions to households, through its toll free number or
personal visit (if required), for best eco-practices to be implement. The taskforce will
assist in building biogas plant, rain water harvesting plant, etc. and will provide best
suitable seeds or plants to plant, free of cost, to the households. Trees like Neem
(Azadirachta indica), Java Plum (Syzygium cumini), Pipal (Ficus religiosa), Jacaranda
(Jacaranda mimosifolia), Gulmohar (Delonix regia), etc. have found more suitable in
urban environment. Trees such as Ashoka (Polyalthia longifolia), Tamarind (Tamarindus
indica), Umbrella (Schefflera actinophylla), Pongamia (Derris indica), etc. are generally
more efficient particle collectors. Aquatic plants like Hydrila (Hydrilla verticillata), Water
hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), Water velvet (Azolla caroliniana), Pennywarth
(Hydrocotyle umbrellate), etc. are best absorbants of Pb, Cu, Cd, Fe, Hg and chromium.
Shrubs like Great bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis), Crown flower (Calotropis
gigantea), Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis), Lemon (Citrus lemon), etc. have found
best air purifiers. Neem (Azadirachta indica), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), Arjuna
(Terminalia arjuna), Sacred Tree (Butea monosperma), etc. are directed to absorb noise
pollution.
(9) Green loans will be given to the households, at very low interest rates, taking
initiatives for eco-friendly activities.
(10) People can do online shopping at online shopping site of eco-commission with
green credits earned through eco-friendly activities. Eco-friendly appliances like solar
cooker, CFL bulbs, etc. will be made available at low prices on this online shopping site
with free home delivery.
(11) The commission will promote NGOs and individuals, working in the field of
environment and sustainable development, for mass reforestation and eco-awareness.
(12) Intracity green trading scheme can be implemented alongside the green tax system
and if possible, small industries can be covered under this scheme.
(13) This scheme will promote eco-friendly activities and demotivate eco-hostile
activities through intracity green trading.

Agency for implementation:

(1) An autonomous body called the central eco-commission, shall serve as the supreme
authority for this scheme. It will monitor the functioning of city level eco-commissions
through state eco-commissions.
(2) City level eco-commission will be the ground level authority for intracity green
trading.

Powers of the eco-commission:

(1) Eco-commission will be responsible for green trading.
(2) Eco-commission will have the authority of collecting penalty amount for eco-hostile
activities.
(3) Value of green credits (in the form of indian rupees) will be decided by the market
forces but eco-commission may regulate it in exceptional conditions.
(4) Eco-commission will monitor the online shopping website and toll free number.
(5) Eco-commision will engage people as well as non government organisations in ecofriendly
activities.

Funding pattern:

Centrally Sponsored Scheme funded on cost-sharing basis between the Government of
India and the State Governments in the ratio of 75:25. However, in the case of North-
Eastern States and Sikkim, funding is shared between the Government of India and
these States in the ratio of 90:10 respectively. In the case of Union Territories, the entire
funds under this Scheme are provided by the Government of India.

Target groups:

Intracity green trading scheme will be implemented in 4 phases as follows:
(1) In first phase, all tier 1 cities/million plus agglomerations will be covered under this
scheme. According to 2011 census, there are 53 tier 1 cities (population more than
100000) in India.
(2) In second phase, all tier 2 cities (population from 50000 to 99999) will be covered.
(3) In third phase, all tier 3 cities (population from 20000 to 49999) will be covered.
(4) In fourth phase, all tier 4 cities (population from 10000 to 19999) will be covered.
Intercity green trading will be initiated in later phase.

Monitoring:

(1) Officers at various levels shall inspect and inspection report shall be submitted to
the central eco-commission. This evaluation will be carried out by evaluating agencies
empanelled with central eco-commission.
(2) All data regarding beneficiaries, green trading, progress of the scheme, its impact
and release of funds, including photographs and inspection report shall be placed on
the website of intracity green trading scheme.

Promotion:

(1) Eco-commission shall strongly promote intracity green trading scheme through
advertisements and eco-awareness programmes.
(2) Reward for eco-friendly activities through green credits will automatically inspire
people to engage themselves in taking action against pollution.
(3) Online shopping facility, provided by eco-commission, of appliances of nonconventional
sources of energy with home delivery service will be helpful to promote the
use of these eco-friendly appliances.
(4) Toll free number for eco-advice and personal visits to households asking for ecofriendly
activities will be useful to guide people to take best action, at their level, to
combat pollution.
(5) Involvement of NGOs, working in the field of environment and sustainable
development, will be helpful to popularize this scheme.

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