What Is National Clean Air Campaign(NCAP) Tracker?: National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is India’s flagship programme for better air quality in non attainment cities, launched in 2019. Overall objective of the NCAP is comprehensive mitigation actions for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution besides augmenting the air quality monitoring network across the country and strengthening the awareness and capacity building activities.
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What is the NCAP?
- Following years of evidence that many Indian cities were among the most polluted in the world, the government launched the NCAP that committed funds as well as set targets for 131 of India’s most polluted cities on January 10, 2019.
- The 131 cities are called nonattainment cities, as they did not meet the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for the period of 2011-15 under the National Air Quality Monitoring Program (NAMP).
Know About NAAQS
- National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are standards for air quality that are set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) that are applicable all over the country.
- The CPCB draws this power from the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
- The first ambient air quality standards were developed in 1982 pursuant to the Air Act.
- The current standards (2009) comprise 12 pollutants as follows:
- Particulate Matter 10 (PM10)
- Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5)
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
- Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Ozone (O3)
- Ammonia (NH3)
- Lead (Pb)
|Know About Non-Attainment Cities?
A non-attainment city is one whose air did not meet the national ambient air quality standards of 2011 to 2015. The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched for such cities, seeking to bring a 20-30 per cent reduction in pollution levels from PM2.
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What target levels Did NCAP Set?
- The country’s current, annual average prescribed limits for the two main classes of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are 40 micrograms/per cubic metre (ug/m3) and 60 micrograms/per cubic metre.
- The NCAP initially set a target of reducing key air pollutants PM10 and PM2.5 by 20-30% in 2024, taking the pollution levels in 2017 as the base year to improve upon.
- In September 2022, the centre set a new target of a 40% reduction in particulate matter concentration in cities covered under NCAP by 2026.
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Latest Analysis By NCAP Tracker
- The NCAP Tracker, a joint project by two organisations active in air pollution policy, Climate Trends and Respirer Living Sciences, have been monitoring progress in achieving the 2024 clean air targets set under the NCAP.
- The analysis has found that most cities in the top 10 most polluted list of 2022 are from the Indo-Gangetic Plain. All three of Bihar’s non-attainment cities — Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya, now feature in the top 10 on the basis of PM 2.5 levels.
- The top ten most polluted cities in 2022 for PM 2.5 were Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Patna, Muzzafarpur, Noida, Meerut, Gobindgarh, Gaya and Jodhpur.
- The top ten most polluted cities in 2022 based on PM 10 were Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Delhi, Noida, Patna, Meerut, Muzzafarpur, Durgapur, Jodhpur and Aurangabad.
- The position of the cleanest city in India in 2022 was jointly held by Srinagar in Kashmir and Kohima in Nagaland.
What Is NCAP Tracker?
- NCAP Tracker is a policy tracker with updates on National Clean Air Programme implementation and its effectiveness.
- It analyses the air quality data compiled from government-run monitoring stations and reviews the programme’s progress in achieving the 2024 national clean air targets.
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