From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : National Clean Air Plan (NCAP)
Mains level : Combating urban air pollution
- The MoEFCC has constituted a committee to implement the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which aims to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20%-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024.
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)
- The NCAP unveiled in January is envisaged as a scheme to provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution.
- The NCAP is envisioned as a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year. There would be a review every five years.
- For achieving the NCAP targets, the cities would be expected to calculate the reduction in pollution, keeping 2017’s average annual PM levels as the base year.
- The NCAP requires cities to implement specific measures such as:
- Ensuring roads are pothole-free to improve traffic flow and thereby reduce dust” (within 60 days) or
- Ensuring strict action against unauthorized brick kilns (within 30 days)
- It doesn’t specify an exact date for when these obligations kick in.
- Experts have criticised the lack of mandatory targets and the challenge of inadequate enforcement by cities.
Committee to implement NCAP
- 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.
- 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.
Why such move?
- 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.