Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that Vijayawada, Vishakapatnam, Guntur, Kurnool, and Nellore cities were selected by the Centre to transform them into pollution-free cities.

Javadekar was responding to a question posed by YSRCP MP V Vijayasai Reddy in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The Centre established the National Clean Air Programme with an aim to reverse the pollution in cities, which are badly affected. Based on the air quality assessed during 2011 and 2015 and on the World Bank report, the Centre concluded that 102 cities in the country are severely affected by pollution. The aforementioned cities from Andhra Pradesh also figure in that list. The Centre has approved the action plan report submitted by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board towards the cause of reversing pollution, the Union Minister added.

He further added that the Centre had released Rs 10 crore to 28 cities in the country that had more than 10 lakh population and severely affected by pollution. The said money was released with an intention to take necessary steps to bring down the pollution levels in their respective cities. He also listed out the various steps taken up already by the Centre to minimise the pollution in the country.