India is committed to clean environment and pollution free air and water. In fact, it is mandated in our constitution. India's commitments and obligations to conservation and protection of environment within the ambit of targeted goals on environmental sustainability under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is manifested in the fact that several administrative and regulatory measures including a separate statute on air and water pollution are under implementation since long. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, was enacted under Art. 253 of the Constitution to implement the decisions taken at the United Nations Conference on Human Environment held at Stockholm in June 1972, in which India participated. Sustainable development, in terms of enhancement of human well- being, is an integral part of India's development philosophy.
However, a vast country and an emerging economy like India, face enormous challenges with its burgeoning population and widespread poverty, in meeting its various other significant commitments associated with poverty and hunger eradication under the SDGs. India has been going through a phase of accelerated industrial activities for the past three decades. The associated growth in terms of industrialization and urbanization has led to manifold increase in pollution issues more specifically air pollution issues.
In recent years, medium and small towns and cities have also witnessed spurt in pollution thus getting fast reflected in the non-attainment cities of India. Air pollution has increasingly been becoming a serious concern, predominantly for health of the people. The reported perplexing statistics in various international reports, drawing correlation of air pollution with various aggravated figures on health, without validation on Indian population further complicates the issues by creating a flawed public perception.
Air pollution emission issues are associated with many sectors which inter- alia include power, transport, industry, residential, construction, and agriculture. The impact of air pollution is not limited to health but it gets extended to agriculture and general well-being of human, floral and faunal population. Furthermore, since air pollution isnot a localized phenomenon, the effect is felt in cities and towns far away from the source. Thus creating the need of inter-state and inert-city coordination in addition to multi-sectoral synchronisation. While the problem of air pollution is mainly urban centric, studies shows the regional scale pollution, which is more concentrated in entire Indo-Gangetic plains of India and more industrialized states. Incidences of episodic air pollution during winters in Delhi NCR in recent years has attracted significant media attention thus bringing the entire issue of air pollution under regular public scrutiny.
In order to address the issue, Government has undertaken many significant steps which inter-alia includes
With these recent policy interventions, air quality has purportedly shown some minor improvement in some major cities in recent time which as of now cannot be called as trend. This is not sufficient and higher level of focused time bound initiatives at both city and rural level now appear obligatory to address the issue in comprehensive manner at national level. It is in this context, the need for a National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)-India as national level strategies for reduction in air pollution levels at both regional and urban scales is felt.
Goal of NCAP is to meet the prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in the country in a stipulated timeframe. NCAP targets to achieve reduction in Particulate Matter (PM10) levels up to 40% or achievement of national standards (60 microgram/cubic meter) by 2025-26 in targeted 131 cities of 24 States, taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
The NCAP will be a mid-term, five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
Under NCAP, 131 cities are being targeted for improving air quality. Of these 131 cities, 123 cities (NACs) are identified under NCAP based on non-conforming to national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) consecutively for five years. In addition, million plus cities (MPCs) are also covered, those identified by 15th
Finance Commission (XV-FC), for receiving performance based grant for air quality improvement. Out of 42 MPCs, 34 cities are common under NCAP. Thus,
131 cities (NACs and MPCs) are being monitored under the NCAP for improving air quality.
The list of 131 cities chosen for this intervention is as follows:
Non-Attainment cities with respect to Ambient Air Quality India (2011-2015) and WHO report 2014/2018
|1||Andhra Pradesh||Guntur, Kurnool, Nellore, Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, Anantapur, Chitoor, Eluru, Kadapa, Ongole, Rajahmundry, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram|
|2||Assam||Guwahati, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sibsagar, Silchar|
|3||Bihar||Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur|
|5||Chattisgarh||Bhilai, Korba, Raipur|
|7||Gujarat||Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot|
|9||Himachal Pradesh||Baddi, Damtal, Kala Amb, Nalagarh, Paonta Sahib, Parwanoo, Sunder Nagar|
|10||Jammu & Kashmir||Jammu, Srinagar|
|11||Jharkhand||Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Ranchi|
|12||Karnataka||Bangalore, Devanagere, Gulburga, Hubli-Dharwad|
|13||Madhya Pradesh||Bhopal, Dewas, Indore, Sagar, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur|
|14||Maharashtra||Akola, Amravati, Aurangabad, Badlapur, Chandrapur, Jalgaon, Jalna, Kolhapur, Latur, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nashik, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Sangli, Solapur, Ulhasnagar, Thane, Vasai-Virar|
|17||Odisha||Angul, Balasore, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Talcher, Kalinga Nagar|
|18||Punjab||Dera Bassi, Gobindgarh, Jalandhar, Khanna, Ludhiana, Naya Nangal, Pathankot/Dera Baba, Patiala, Amritsar|
|19||Rajasthan||Alwar, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Udaipur|
|20||Tamilnadu||Thoothukudi, Trichy, Madurai, Chennai|
|21||Telangana||Hyderabad, Nalgonda, Patancheruvu, Sangareddy|
||Agra, Allahabad, Anpara, Bareily, Firozabad, Gajraula, Ghaziabad, Jhansi, Kanpur, Khurja, Lucknow, Moradabad, Noida, Raebareli, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Meerut|
|23||Uttarakhand||Kashipur, Rishikesh, Dehradun|
|24||West Bengal||Kolkata, Asansol, Barrackpore, Durgapur, Haldia, Howrah|
To access the complete document, click here.
“PRANA” – Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in Non-Attainment cities, is a portal for monitoring of implementation of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). It will support tracking of physical as well as financial status of city air action plan implementation and disseminate information on air quality management efforts under NCAP to public.
To view the present status of NCAP, click here.
Last Modified : 3/16/2023