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NCAP : Clearing the Skies for Healthier Living



  Feb 12, 2024

National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)



What is the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)?

The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is an initiative by the Indian government launched in 2019, aimed at reducing particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) levels by 20-30% in 131 designated ‘non-attainment’ cities across India by 2024, relative to 2017 levels. It focuses on comprehensive air quality management through city-specific action plans.

Why has NCAP struggled to reduce pollution levels?

ublic, which ranks air pollution low on priority lists.
Entrenched Industry Practices: Industries contributing to air pollution, such as construction, transport, and agriculture, resist adopting cleaner practices.
Institutional Setup: The existing framework struggles with coordination across states and lacks the financial and regulatory teeth for impac NCAP’s challenges stem from a combination of factors:

Ineffective Enforcement: Central and State Pollution Control Boards lack statutory enforcement power, leading to coordination and accountability issues.
Inadequate Demand for Clean Air: Both from regional governments, which underuse allocated funds, and the ptful action.

How can NCAP’s effectiveness be improved?

Improving NCAP’s effectiveness involves several strategic actions:

1. Strengthen Institutional Incentives: Link financial incentives to air quality outcomes, encouraging urban local bodies to improve performance through competitive federalism.
2. Boost Public Demand: Increase awareness and demand for clean air through education, community engagement, and policy advocacy.
3. Enable Regional Cooperation: Promote holistic air pollution management at the airshed level, granting ULBs greater fiscal autonomy.
4. Incentivize Sustainable Industry Practices: Encourage industries to adopt cleaner technologies through financial incentives and disincentives.

What role do public and industries play in air quality management?

Both the public and industries play crucial roles in air quality management. Public awareness and demand for cleaner air can drive political and policy changes, while industries can contribute significantly by adopting sustainable practices, such as reducing emissions and embracing cleaner technologies.

How is air pollution a transboundary problem, and what does it imply for NCAP?

Air pollution does not adhere to administrative boundaries, making it a transboundary problem that requires coordinated action across states and regions. This characteristic complicates the enforcement and effectiveness of NCAP, highlighting the need for regional cooperation and a unified approach to tackle pollution sources collectively.

By addressing these critical aspects, NCAP can evolve into a more robust program capable of making significant strides in improving air quality across India.

SRIRAM’s


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