Categories: Air PollutionNews Piece

A Toothless Tiger – Government Launches National Clean Air Programme

Experts are working tirelessly on finding ways to get the Government of India work on eradicating pollution from the country. However, it seems like the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is just a paper tiger without any time-bound targets.  

Air pollution in India is one of the biggest challenges as of today. A time-bound national level strategy for Pan India implementation in the form of NCAP was launched earlier this year. The idea of the programme is to tackle the increasing air pollution issue across the country. NCAP was launched by the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi.

National Clean Air Programme Promises: 

The tentative national target of the NCAP is the reduction of PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentration by 2024. Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Collaborative and participatory approach involving relevant Central Ministries, State Governments, local bodies and other Stakeholders with focus on all sources of pollution forms the crux of the Programme. The overall objective of the NCAP is comprehensive mitigation actions for prevention, control, and abatement of air pollution besides augmenting the air quality monitoring network across the country and strengthening the awareness and capacity building activities.”

The launch ceremony was attended by more than 150 participants representing central and state governments, industries, national & international organizations, Universities and research institutes from across the country.

The list of 102 cities chosen for this intervention is as follows:

Sl.No State Cities Sl. No Cities
1 Andhra Pradesh 1 Guntur
2 Kurnool
3 Nellore
4 Vijayawada
5 Vishakhapatnam
2 Assam 1 Guwahati
2 Nagaon
3 Nalbari
4 Sibsagar
5 Silchar
3 Chandigarh 1 Chandigarh
4 Chattisgarh 1 Bhillai
2 Korba
3 Raipur
5 Delhi 1 Delhi
6 Gujarat 1 Surat
2 Ahmedabad
7 Himachal Pradesh 1 Baddi
2 Damtal
3 Kala Amb
4 Nalagarh
5 Paonta Sahib
6 Parwanoo
7 Sunder Nagar
8 Jammu & Kashmir 1 Jammu
2 Srinagar
9 Jharkhand 1 Dhanbad
10 Karnataka 1 Bangalore
2 Devanagere
3 Gulburga
4 Hubli-Dharwad
11 Madhya Pradesh 1 Bhopal
2 Dewas
3 Indore
4 Sagar
5 Ujjain
6 Gwalior
12 Maharashtra 1 Akola
2 Amravati
3 Aurangabad
4 Badlapur
5 Chandrapur
6 Jalgaon
7 Jalna
8 Kolhapur
9 Latur
10 Mumbai
11 Nagpur
12 Nashik
13 Navi Mumbai
14 Pune
15 Sangli
16 Solapur
17 Ulhasnagar
13 Meghalaya 1 Byrnihat
14 Nagaland 1 Dimapur
2 Kohima
15 Orissa 1 Angul
2 Balasore
3 Bhubneshwar
4 Cuttack
5 Rourkela
6 Talcher
16 Punjab 1 Dera Bassi
2 Gobindgarh
3 Jalandhar
4 Khanna
5 Ludhiana
6 Naya Nangal
Pathankot/Dera Baba
8 Patiala
9 Amritsar
17 Rajasthan 1 Alwar
2 Jaipur
3 Jodhpur
4 Kota
5 Udaipur
18 Tamilnadu 1 Tuticorin
19 Telangana 1 Hyderabad
2 Nalgonda
3 Patencheru
20 Uttar Pradesh 1 Agra
2 Allahabad
3 Anpara
4 Bareily
5 Firozabad
6 Gajraula
7 Ghaziabad
8 Jhansi
9 Kanpur
10 Khurja
11 Lucknow
12 Muradabad
13 Noida
14 Raebareli
15 Varanasi
21 Uttarakhand 1 Kashipur
2 Rishikesh
22 West Bengal 1 Kolkata
23 Bihar 1 Patna
2 Gaya
3 Muzaffarpur

But there is a loophole on the National Clean Air Programme!

“International experiences and national studies indicate that significant outcome in terms of air pollution initiatives is visible only in the long term, and hence the program may be further extended to 20-25 years in the long term after a mid-term review…,” the document states. 

However, due to the lack of clear timelines and monitoring methods has the experts worried. It has been over a year and a half that the NCAP is announced and there is no annual or mid-term target, apparently a mid-term review will be carried out in 2024.

Sunil Dahiya, Campaigner, Greenpeace India said “The first and foremost priority for the ministry should be to set time-bound emission targets to reduce air pollution. NCAP is the ultimate framework to ensure compliance to their commitment towards tackling air pollution from the source. Missing of emission as well as sectoral targets is making NCAP not only redundant but pointless.”

[Watch] How the Government announced NCAP (National Clean Air Programme) that has no financial or legal support making it a toothless tiger.

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Deepshikha Deb

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Deepshikha Deb
Tags: air pollutionair pollution in Indiaaqi indiaclean airClimate changeControlling Pollutiondeathsdelhienvironmentenvironmental effectsglobal warminggovernmenthealth effectsHealth Effects of Air Pollution on HumansIndiaMost Polluted cities in Indianewspm10pm2.5pollutantspollutionsmogWHOWorld Health Organization

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