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Govt calls for time-bound execution of clean air plan

NEW DELHI: Amid green organisations voicing concern over the absence of pollution reduction targets, the Union Environment Ministry on Thursday called for time-bound implementation of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

The NCAP calls for a long-term time-bound national-level plan to control air pollution. Under this, the ministry aims to augment air quality monitoring in 100 non-attainment cities.

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The ministry envisages installation of all monitoring stations within two years.

However, green organisations criticise this, saying the ministry does not specify the starting timeline from where the two-year deadline will commence.

The total tentative cost of NCAP is estimated at Rs 637 crore.

While the ministry has been focussing on greater public awareness and better monitoring, green organisations have been pressing for fixing emission reduction targets and broadening the sphere of monitoring and mitigation beyond 100 cities.

On Thursday, speaking at the two-day stakeholder consultation, environment secretary C K Mishra said: “As a government, we need to have that commitment to ensure that there is a defined time-frame, which we may set for ourselves after today’s (Thursday) discussions.”

The stakeholder consultation involves all state governments, representatives from World Bank, The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), Ministry of Coal, Central Pollution Control Board and the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).

“Having targets is important, which is missing from NCAP. They should know how much to be reduced in how much time… Emissions are not restricted to a city’s boundary, and an IIT report specifically talks of emission sources beyond city boundaries,” Sunil Dahiya, Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace, said.

Greenpeace has pointed out the absence of pollution reduction targets of 35 per cent in three years and 50 per cent in five years.


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