The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on April 17, 2018 released the draft of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The ministry has put up the draft on its website and invited comments from various stakeholders by May 17, 2018.
The NCAP is a national action plan that proposes multiple strategies to reduce air pollution.
Highlights of the National Clean Air Programme
• NCAP aims to enhance and develop an effective and a proficient network to monitor the ambient air quality across the country for a comprehensive and reliable database.
• The plan calls for an efficient data distribution and public outreach mechanism for timely measures to prevent and mitigate air pollution.
• It also aims to have a feasible management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.
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NCAP details a host of measures to bring down air pollution
The Ministry has detailed a host of measures to bring down air pollution under the NCAP and few of these are:
• Air quality monitoring network
• Identification of alternative technology for real-time monitoring
• Setting up of 10 city super network
• Indoor air pollution monitoring and management
• Air pollution health impact studies
• Air quality forecasting system
• Issuance of notification on dust management
• Three-tier mechanism for review, assessment and inspection for implementation of the plan
• National emission inventory
However, this new plan lacks the mention of targets of achieving absolute pollution reduction of 35 per cent in three years and 50 per cent in five years. Earlier, the environment ministry announced that it hopes to bring down air pollution in around 100 non-attainment cities by 50 per cent in the next five years under the NCAP.
Non-attainment cities are those which have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.