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National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • National Cleaner Air Programme complete five years.

About NCAP

  • Launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in 2019 in response to the escalating air pollution levels in India.
  • Aim is to improve the air quality in 131 cities, comprising non-attainment cities (NAC) and Million Plus Cities, across 24 states. Non-attainment cities are those exceeding the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for five consecutive years.
  • Set the target to achieve reductions of up to 40% in Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5) concentrations by the year 2025-26, with the base year being 2017.
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) oversees the national-level implementation.
  • City Action Plans (CAPs) are developed and implemented by state governments and their respective agencies at the state and city levels, including municipal bodies.
  • PRANA (Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in NAC) was launched to monitor and ensure the effective implementation of NCAP.

Progress of NCAP in the Last 5 Years (Studies evaluating the program’s progress indicate a mixed scenario)

  • Improvements in PM2.5 levels were recorded in 27 out of 49 cities.
  • Similarly, improvements in PM10 levels were observed in 24 out of 46 cities.
  • Cities like Varanasi, Agra, and Jodhpur showcased significant reductions in both PM2.5 and PM10 levels.
Other Initiatives for Reducing Air Pollution

·       National Ambient Air Quality Programme (NAMP): Complementary program focusing on monitoring and enhancing ambient air quality across the country.

·       Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP): A set of anti-pollution measures to be implemented by government authorities based on the air quality index to combat worsening air quality.

·       Switch to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) Emission Standards: Implementation of more stringent emission norms for vehicles to reduce air pollutants emitted by the transportation sector.

·       Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) Electric Vehicles (FAME) Scheme: A scheme aimed at promoting the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles to encourage a cleaner and sustainable transportation system.

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