NATIONAL CLEAN AIR PROGRAMME (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     25th April 2024        

Context: The Indian government's National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) aimed to reduce atmospheric Particulate Matter (PM) concentration by 20-30% by 2024, initially, and later revised to 40% by 2026.

National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

  • About: This marks the inaugural attempt in the nation to establish a national framework for managing air quality, complete with a time-bound reduction objective.
  • Aim: To improve air quality in 131 cities (non-attainment cities and Million Plus Cities) in 24 States/UTs by engaging all stakeholders.
  • Launched: January 2019
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • Target: To achieve 20% to 30% reduction in concentrations of PM10(particulate matter of diameter between 10 and 2.5 micrometer) and PM2.
  • Implementation of NCAP: The CPCB will execute a nationwide program to prevent, control, and reduce air pollution in accordance with the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, specifically Section 16(2)(b), within the framework of the NCAP.
  • Objective

o Ensuring the rigorous enforcement of measures to prevent, control, and reduce air pollution.

o Strengthening and improving the effectiveness of the nationwide ambient air quality monitoring network to establish a comprehensive and dependable database.

  • Lack of Standard Operating Procedures: Standard operating procedures for implementation are lacking, causing confusion and inefficiency.
  • Time-Consuming Tasks: Implementing control measures involves time-consuming tasks, contributing to delays in the process.
  • Need for a Systemic Approach: Overcoming hesitation requires a systemic approach, incorporating Emissions Inventory (EI), Air Quality (AQ) modeling, and Source Apportionment (SA).

Scientific Tool 

  • Emissions Inventory (EI): It is a listing, by source, of the amounts of pollutants actually emitted to the atmosphere over a period of time.
  • Air Quality (AQ) modelling: It refers to the use of mathematics and computer programs to estimate concentrations of pollutants in the air.
  • Source Apportionment (SA): It is the practice of deriving information about pollution sources and the amount they contribute to ambient air pollution levels.
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