27 September 2022.
A new target has been set under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
- The Indian Government has set a new target of 40 per cent reduction in the particulate matter concentration by 2026 in cities under the NCAP.
- This is an update of the earlier goal of 20 to 30 per cent reduction of particulate matter concentration by 2024.
- The city-specific plans under NCAP are being upgraded to make them on par with the new goals.
- According to the Environment Ministry, 95 of the 131 non-attainment cities covered under the NCAP have reduced their PM10 levels in 2021 when compared with the 2017 levels.
- Non-attainment cities are those that have fallen short of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for over 5 years from 2011 to 2015.
- 20 cities have met the national standards for annual average PM10 concentration, which is 60 micrgrams per cubic meters.
- Cities that showed an overall improvement in PM10 concentration since 2017 are Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Patna, Nagpur, Pune, Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly, Firozabad, Moradabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Raipur and others.
The NCAP was launched in 2019 as the first-ever national framework for air quality management with time-bound reduction target. It aims to bring down the concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 across India with 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration of the pollutants. Under NCAP, city-specific action plans have been created to include measures to strengthen the monitoring network, reduce pollution from industries and vehicles etc. It also aims to improve capacity to management air pollution and raise public awareness about the harms caused by the air pollution.