National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

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    In News

    • Under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), the MOEFCC has set a new target of a 40% reduction in particulate matter concentration in cities by 2026.

    About

    • The target was updated due to an overall improvement in PM10 levels in 2021.
    • 20 cities have met the national standards for annual average PM10 concentration (60 microgram per cubic metre).
    • 95 of the 131 non-attainment cities (NACs) covered under the NCAP have witnessed an “overall improvement” in PM10 levels in 2021 as compared to 2017 levels.  
      • NACs are cities whose air quality did not meet the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) of 2011 to 2015.
    • PRANA (Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in non-Attainment cities) portal monitors the implementation of NCAP.

    National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

    • About: 
      • It was launched by the MoEFCC in 2019 as a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy that features:
        • Making determined efforts to deal with the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
        • Achieving 20%- 30% reduction target in Particulate Matter concentrations by 2024 where 2017 is kept as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
        • Identification of 122 non-attainment cities across the country based on the 2014-2018 Air Quality data.
        • Non- Attainment Cities are the cities which do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
        • Establishing a right mix with the existing policies and programmes which include the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and other government initiatives related to climate change.
        • Setting up of certification agencies for monitoring equipment, source apportionment studies, emphasis on enforcement, specific sectoral interventions etc.
    • Objective of NCAP: 
      • To augment and evolve effective and proficient ambient air quality monitoring networks across the country.
      • To have efficient data dissemination and public outreach mechanisms for timely measures for prevention and mitigation of air pollution.
      • To have a feasible management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.

    Other Efforts to Prevent Air Pollution

    • Commission for Air Quality Management:
      • The Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and adjoining areas, 2020 — with a provision for a fine of Rs 1 crore and/or jail for 5 years for those violating air pollution norms.
    • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana 
      • A Household LPG program and other schemes have helped to dramatically expand access to clean energy, especially for rural households.

    Steps Needed to Preserve Clean Air

    • Implement afforestation.
    • Say no to plastic use.
    • Turn off the lights when not in use. 
    • Use public transport.
    • Recycle and reuse.
    • Avoid burning crackers.

    Way Ahead

    • For successful implementation of the action plan, there is an urgent need for cooperation and coordination among state agencies and technical supervision by expert Institutions.

    Source: TH