Eighty-four cities have submitted their plans to reduce air pollution by 2024 as part of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
In Detail :-
- The NCAP was launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on 10 January 2019.
- It has tasked 102 cities across the country to submit plans to reduce air pollution.
- NCAP is a time-bound strategy to reduce the burden of air pollution at the national level.
- The crux of the programme lies in its collaborative and participatory approach among central ministries, state governments, city authorities and other stakeholders.
- It is a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
- With anecdotal evidence suggesting that a reduction in air pollution is visible only in the long-term, the programme is expected to be extended further in the future.
- The programme envisages partnering with international organisations and have bilateral collaborations in reducing air pollution.
- It is a dynamic programme that takes into account every new information available through scientific research related to the reduction of air pollution.
- The programme has a national level target of reducing 20-30% in the concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 by 2024 with 2017 being the base year.
- In the plans submitted, the cities are expected to detail out plans related to increasing the number of monitoring stations, technology support that will be provided, conduction of apportionment studies, and strengthening enforcement.
- NCAP also mandates the cities to keep the roads free of potholes to ensure the free flow of traffic and reduce dust. This has to be done within 60 days.
- Strict action against brick kilns within 30 days.
- Cities account for only 3% of the land area in the country.
- They are the engines of growth with a contribution of 82% of the GDP.
- But, they are the leading cause of air pollution accounting for 78% of carbon dioxide emissions.
- With air pollution becoming a major environmental challenge world over, NCAP is a timely programme.
- Its time specific targets and clear guidelines will enable the cities to become greener and help the residents of the cities to breathe fresh air.