News: Climate and energy news aggregator, http://www.carboncopy.info, has launched a dashboard — ncap.carboncopy.info — to track the progress of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
- The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched in 2019 by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It is a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
- Aim: prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in India.
- Target: 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5a and PM10 concentration by 2024, taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
- Coverage: 122 non-attainment cities identified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.
- The NCAP requires cities to come up with city-specific plans for increasing the number of monitoring stations, providing technology support, conducting source apportionment studies, and strengthening enforcement.
- The cities are required to implement specific measures in a time-bound manner. Example: ensuring roads are pothole-free to improve traffic flow and thereby reduce dust (within 60 days).
Non-attainment cities are those which have been consistently showing poorer air quality than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Example: Delhi, Varanasi, Bhopal etc.
- These are the standards for ambient air quality set by CPCB. Ambient air quality refers to the condition or quality of outdoor air.
- 12 Pollutants covered under NAAQS are: Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, PM10, PM2.5, Ozone, Lead, Carbon monoxide, Ammonia, Benzene, Benzo (a) Pyrene (BaP) – particulate phase only, Arsenic, and Nickel.
Air Quality Index (AQI):
- The AQI classifies air quality of a day considering criteria pollutants through colour codes and air quality descriptor. Further, it also links air quality with likely human health impacts.
- The index measures eight major pollutants, namely, particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5), nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead.