- NCAP is a pollution control initiative that was launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in January 2019. This is the first ever effort in the country to frame a national framework for air quality management with a time-bound reduction target.
- It aims to reduce particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) pollution by 20-30% in 122 cities by 2024, with 2017 as the base year for comparison.
- The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) executes this programme.
- Under NCAP, 122 non-attainment cities have been identified across the country based on the Air Quality data from 2014-2018.
- Apart from experts from the industry and academia, the programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, NITI Aayog, and Central Pollution Control Board.
- City specific action plans have been prepared which include measures for strengthening the monitoring network, reducing vehicular/industrial emissions, increasing public awareness etc.
- Implementation of the city specific action plans are regularly monitored by Committees at Central and State level namely Steering Committee, Monitoring Committee and Implementation Committee.
- Air quality of cities is monitored by State Pollution Control Boards which publishes their results from time to time.
Why in news?
- The analysis by NCAP Tracker, a joint project by news portal Carbon Copy and a Maharashtra-based start-up ‘Respirer Living Sciences’, designed to track India’s progress in achieving the clean air targets, ranked Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh as the most polluted city out of the 132 non-attainment cities with highest levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10.
News in detail
- According to the analysis, Delhi and most of the other non-attainment cities under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) have shown only a marginal improvement.
- Delhi was the second most polluted city in the list of cities with the highest PM 2.5 level and fourth in cities with the highest PM 10 level.
- According to the three-year comparative analysis, Ghaziabad, with annual PM 2.5 level above 100, remained at the top of the table in the most polluted cities, except in 2020, when Lucknow ranked first with an annual PM 2.5 level of 116.