Pollution: 6 States told to submit action plan

  1. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Assam, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Nagaland governments to submit their action plans to tackle air pollution. NGT has further warned that if action plans are not executed within the specified timeline, the defaulting states will be liable to pay environmental compensation
  2. The direction came after the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) informed NGT that out of 102 cities, action plan has been received from 83 cities.
  3. CPCB has identified list of polluted cities in which the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are violated. These cities are known as non-attainment cities. There are 102 non-attainment cities. Action plans are formulated and implemented to control air pollution in these non-attainment cities by respective states.
  4. National Ambient Air Quality Standards are the standards for ambient air quality set by CPCB. Ambient air quality refers to the condition or quality of outdoor air.
  5. 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. It aims at 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5and PM10 concentration by 2024, taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration. The programme targets 102 non-attainment cities.
  6. NGT has also raised concerns over the threat associated with overuse of limited natural resources. It has directed Ministry of Urban Development to carry out an assessment on carrying capacity in the 102 non-attainment cities.
  7. Carrying capacity refers to the number of individuals who can be supported in a given area within natural resource limits, and without degrading the environment for present and future generations.