Conservation and pollution related issues.
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)
What to study?
For Prelims: NCAP- features and targets.
For Mains: Significance, challenges in its implementation and measures needed to improve its outcomes.
Context: MoEFCC has constituted a committee to implement the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
Composition: The committee will be chaired by the Secretary, Union Environment Ministry and has among its members the Joint Secretary (Thermal), Ministry of Power; Director-General, The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) etc.
Terms of reference: The committee would be headquartered in New Delhi and its remit includes ensuring “inter-ministerial organisation and cooperation, sharing information and resolving issues that could arise between ministries. The committee would also give overall guidance and directions to effectively implement the programmes.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) database on air pollution over the years has listed Tier I and Tier II Indian cities as some of the most polluted places in the world. In 2018, 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities were in India.
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP):
This 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.
Key features of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP):
- Achieve a national-level target of 20-30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by between 2017 and 2024.
- 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, 1986.
- The programme has been launched with an initial budget of ₹300 crore for the first two years.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: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.