NATIONAL CLEAN AIR PROGRAMME
16, Mar 2020
Prelims level : Pollution & Waste Management Mains level : GS-III Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.
Why in News?
- Union Environment Ministry has asked for city-level plans for the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as these problems need to be dealt with at the local level.
What is the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)?
- Launched in January 2019, it is the first ever effort in the country to frame a national framework for air quality management with a time-bound reduction target.
- The programme will not be notified under the Environment Protection Act or any other Act to create a firm mandate with a strong legal back up for cities and regions to implement NCAP in a time bound manner for effective reduction.
- The plan includes 102 non-attainment cities, across 23 states and Union territories, which were identified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.
What is Non-attainment?
- Non-attainment cities are those which have been consistently showing poorer air quality than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
- These include Delhi, Varanasi, Bhopal, Kolkata, Noida, Muzaffarpur, and Mumbai.
What are its Key Features?
- Target: Achieve a national-level target of 20-30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by between 2017 and 2024.
- Implementation: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will execute this nation-wide programme in consonance with the section 162 (b) of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.
- As part of the programme, the Centre also plans to scale up the air quality monitoring network across India. At least 4,000 monitors are needed across the country, instead of the existing 101 real-time air quality (AQ) monitors, according to an analysis.
- The plan proposes a three-tier system, including real-time physical data collection, data archiving, and an action trigger system in all 102 cities, besides extensive plantation plans, research on clean-technologies, landscaping of major arterial roads, and stringent industrial standards.
- It also proposes state-level plans of e-mobility in the two-wheeler sector, rapid augmentation of charging infrastructure, stringent implementation of BS-VI norms, boosting public transportation system, and adoption of third-party audits for polluting industries.
- Various committees proposed: The national plan has proposed setting up an apex committee under environment minister, a steering committee under-secretary (environment) and a monitoring committee under a joint secretary. There would be project monitoring committees at the state-level with scientists and trained personnel.