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Environment Ministry Releases Draft of National Clean Air Programme

Published on April 19, 2018
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released the details of the NCAP (national Clean Air Programme).
Environment Ministry releases draft of National Clean Air Programme
The draft proposes multiple strategies to reduce air pollution.


  • It aims to tackle increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner. 
  • The basic objective of NCAP is to meet prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in the country in a stipulated time frame. It does not mention of any specific target and time frame. 
  • Under NCAP, the MoEFCC plans to take host of measures to bring down air pollution.
  • It aims to have efficient data dissemination and public outreach mechanism for timely measures for prevention and mitigation of air pollution.
  • Augment and evolve effective and proficient ambient air quality monitoring network across country to ensure comprehensive and reliable database.
  • To have feasible management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.

Key Facts

  • The Union Environment minister Harsh Vardhan said that under this plan, the ministry hopes to bring down air pollution in around 100 non-attainment cities by 50 percent in the next five years.
  • Non-attainment cities are those considered to have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
  • There is an absence of absolute pollution reduction targets of 35 percent in three years and 50 percent in five years which is a matter of concern.
  • The NCAP has proposed a budget and time-bound targets for its components.
  • Specific targets would be would be introduced after accessing how many targets can be met practically.
  • Under this proposed plan, the MoEFCC will augment air quality monitoring network, identification of alternative technology for real-time monitoring, set up of 10 city super network, indoor air pollution monitoring and management and air pollution health impact studies.
  • Other measures include air quality forecasting system, issuance of notification on dust management, three-tier mechanism for review, assessment and inspection for implementation and national emission inventory. 
  • NCAP has outsourced all the responsibilities to states by only focusing on 100 cities, and has ignored sectors like industry and coal thermal power plants, which are regulated by the central government.
  • For the NCAP to be effective, it has to take a regional approach and emissions from industry and power sectors have high impact at the regional-level and not at the city-level.

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