Delhi needs to cut pollution level by 65% to meet air quality standard: CSE

  1. Environmental NGO, Centre for Science and Environment has released new results from its on-going analysis of air quality trends in Delhi to highlight Delhi’s struggle with air pollution and what it takes to control pollution.
  2. The CSE has noted that after the launch of comprehensive clean air action plan and graded response action plan, there are early signs of stabilisation and reduction in pollution level in Delhi.
  3. However, CSE has warned that even after reduction and stabilisation of pollution levels, Delhi needs to cut pollution level by 65% to meet the air quality standards.
  4. In pursuant with Supreme Court’s order in the M. C. Mehta vs. Union of India (2016) regarding air quality in National Capital Region of Delhi, a Graded Response Action Plan was notified by MoEFCC. Under GRAP, there are 4 stages of pollution – Moderate to Poor, Very Poor, Severe and Severe+ or Emergency and action are listed that need to be undertaken as the levels are breached.
  5. In February 2017, The Supreme Court directed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to work on a comprehensive action plan (CAP) for air pollution control. CAP lists medium and long-term actions for all pollution sources for Delhi and NCR.
  6. In 2019, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) has been launched for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in India. It is a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
  7. It aims at 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5and PM10 concentration by 2024, taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
  8. The programme targets 102 non-attainment cities which were identified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.
  9. Non-attainment cities are those which have been consistently showing poorer air quality than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Delhi is one of the non-attainment cities.