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National Clean Air Programme: Target of reduction in particulate matter by 2026

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Sep 27, 2022 10:00 PM

Read Time: 1 minute

According to officials, the Centre has set a new target of 40% reduction in particulate matter concentration in cities covered by the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) by 2026, updating the previous goal of 20-30% reduction by 2024.

The Union Environment Ministry reports that 95 of the 131 non-attainment cities covered by the NCAP have seen a "overall improvement" in PM10 levels in 2021 compared to 2017.

Twenty cities, including Chennai, Madurai, and Nashik, have met the national annual average PM10 concentration standards (60 microgram per cubic metre). The acceptable annual standard for PM2.5 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre.

PM2.5 are fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller, and pose the greatest risk to health. The 132 cities covered under the NCAP did not meet the prescribed national ambient air quality standards for five consecutive years (2011-2015).

Goal of reduction in PM levels

“The goal of 20 to 30 percent reduction in PM levels has to be met by 2024. The results under NCAP have been good so far. So, we have decided to update the reduction target to 40 percent by 2026,” an official of the environment ministry said.

NCAP has developed city-specific action plans that include measures to strengthen the air quality monitoring network, reduce vehicular and industrial emissions, raise public awareness, and so on.

“The cities are also updating their action plans to meet the updated targets,” the official said.

Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Patna, Nagpur, Pune, Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly, Firozabad, Moradabad, Kanpur, 
Varanasi, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Raipur, among others, have shown overall improvement in PM 10 concentration since 2017.

The concentration of PM10 in Delhi has decreased from 241 micrograms per cubic metre in 2017 to 196 micrograms per cubic metre in 2021.

Also Read: Cleanliness drive: Goa to organize ‘Clean Coast Safe Sea’ programme on Sept 17

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