- The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) as a time-bound, national level strategy to tackle the air pollution crisis in the country in a comprehensive manner.
- The national level target of 20 per cent to 30 per cent reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024 was proposed under the NCAP, taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
- To begin with, city specific action plans were formulated for 102 non-attainment cities, which exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for 5 consecutive years.
- Gradually, the number of cities identified for implementing mitigation actions under NCAP was increased to 131.
- In 2022, the NCAP target was revised to a 40 per cent reduction in particulate matter concentration in cities and the deadline was extended till 2025-26.
Why in News?
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) reviews the progress made under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
- Under the Programme, Cities are required to take measures to improve air quality inter-alia include solid waste management, control of pollution from biomass burning and air pollution from construction & demolition activities.
- Ambient air quality refers to the condition or quality of air surrounding us in the outdoors. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are the standards for ambient air quality set by CPCB that are applicable nationwide.
- The CPCB has been conferred this power by the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
- NAAQS was adopted in 1982 for the first time in India and it was revised in 1994 and 2009.
- The current standards (2009) comprise the following 12 pollutants:
- Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), PM10, PM2.5, Lead (Pb), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ammonia (NH3), Benzene (C6H6), Benzo(a)Pyrene (BaP), Arsenic (As) and Nickel (Ni).