Centre launches National Clean Air Programme

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The central government has launched a new five-year action plan to improve air quality by reducing the concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 by 20-30% by 2024, with 2017 as the base year.

The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), launched on Thursday with an initial budget of ₹300 crore for the first two years, has a special focus on 102 non-attainment cities, across 23 states and Union territories.

The cities, identified by Central Pollution Control Board, are those which have been consistently showing poorer air quality than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Real-time physical data collection, data archiving, and an action trigger systems will be set up in the cities.

They include Delhi, Varanasi, Bhopal, Kolkata, Noida, Muzaffarpur, and Mumbai.

The number of real-time air quality (AQ) monitors across the country will be increased for better monitoring. Studies will be conducted in these non-attainment cities to identify the source of pollution.

Promotion of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, stringent imposition of fuel-efficient norms on fossil fuel vehicles, boosting public transportation system, and third-party audits for polluting industries will also form a part of the programme.

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