Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Environmental Pollution Mains Syllabus : GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Context:

  • Looking beyond national capital which invariably gets wider attention on critical issue of air pollution, the Centre launched a comprehensive pan-India air pollution abatement scheme for 102 cities, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

Details:

  • The Centre has formally unveiled details of its mid-term (five year) pollution reduction target and strategies with keeping states into the loop for implementation and bringing global multilateral agencies on board for technical support.
  • It has a target to reduce air pollution by 20-30% by 2024, taking 2017 as a base year.
  • Contrary to demand of environmentalists, the pollution reduction target in these cities will, howver, not be legally binding on respective states, despite being collaborative and participatory in nature.
  • And the programme will be linked with existing programmes of the National Action Plan on Climate Change and other other existing initiatives such as implementation of smart cities schemes in 43 cities. It will be implemented through city specific air pollution abatement action plans for all non-attainment cities, similar to the comprehensive action plan for Delhi.All cities will have details of time-bound action plans and emergency measures such as graded response action plan (GRAP) on the basis of Air Quality Index (AQI). It will be operationalised through inter-sectoral groups which include ministries of road transport and highways, petroleum and natural gas, renewable energy and urban affairs among others.
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