New Delhi, Feb. 2 -- The Union government has allocated Rs.4,400 crore to deal with air pollution in cities with a million-plus population, up from Rs.460 crore last year. Apart from the financial boost to large cities implementing the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said state utilities will be advised to close down old thermal power plants that do not meet the emission standards.

"There are yet thermal power plants that are old and their carbon emission levels are high. For such power plants, we propose that utilities running them would be advised to close them if their emission is above the preset norms. The land so vacated can be put to alternative use," she said in her budget speech.

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