- In December 2017, the Union government announced the National Clean Air Progamme (NCAP) that proposes multiple strategies to combat air pollution across the country.
- NCAP is India’s first attempt at working out a coordinated system to curb air pollution.
- It requires the states to frame their own Clean Air Programmes.
- The primary goal of NCAP is to meet the prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards across the country within a stipulated timeframe.
- To augment and evolve ambient air quality monitoring network across the country to build a reliable database.
- Ensuring public participation in planning and implementation of air pollution policies.
- To have a feasible management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.
Components of NCAP
- Tackle pollution from various sources including power plants, transport, industry, residential and agriculture sectors etc.
- Increase number of manual air quality monitoring stations from 703 to 1,000.
- Expand the network of the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS)
- Set up Air Information Centre for data analysis, interpretation and dissemination through GIS platforms.
City-Specific Action Plans for non-attainment cities
- NCAP has a city-specific action plans consisting pollution abatement measures for 102 non-attainment cities.
- A non-attainment city is the one which has air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
- Totally 102 cities have been identified 94 cities as non-attainment cities on the basis of 5-years data generated under the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme.
- All big metros are on the list including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Kanpur, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Varanasi, Bhopal Jaipur etc.
- The plan for 102 non-attainment cities will have three timelines to gradually reduce air pollution.
- Under the timelines, air pollution in these cities will be reduced by:
- 35% in the next three years
- 50% in the next five years
- 70-80% in the next 10 years.
- States are entrusted with the responsibility to frame their own city-specific plan.
- Centre would assist states in building capacities to reduce pollution level in tune with the prescribed timelines.
Section : Environment & Ecology