India does not have any concrete action plan to clean the air: Experts

National level air quality monitoring and city action plans have proved ineffective, state action plans have not been prepared: Life

National Clean Air Plan (NCAP), which was launched to improve the air in 102 polluted cities in 2019, is likely to fail to meet its objective, that is to say, Legal Initiative for Forests and Environment (Life) In a new analysis done. Life found that the state’s level of intervention – to draft the state action plans and implement them – has not been introduced. No steps have been taken by the Central or State Government to prepare the plans. Life’s analysis also found that national and city-level actions followed an unscientific approach, not considering rural air pollution or local pollution sources. These findings have been published in a six-report series on NCAP .

Ritwik Dutta, managing trustee of Life, says , “ Our analysis shows that India does not yet have an action plan to clean the air. NCAP is a national action plan in name only — it has 5% Fewer cities are included , rural areas are left out and the focus is not on the entire state as a whole. Each component of the NCAP has so far either failed – be it monitoring , city ​​action plans or state action plans. This fact indicates that the state government and even not aware of the legal requirement to prepare a state action plan of the CPCB, nonchalant attitude of the authorities and lack of seriousness. Over the past two and a half years of implementation of the NCAP, which is something that requires the comprehensive independent review. “

Missing plans
According to NCAP document, “had to be prepared by the 23 states with the environmental State Action Plan” for the control of air pollution, forest and the Ministry of Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) who have non – There are cities with entertainment. Life’s report found that of the 17 states to which questions were sent under the Right to Information Act 2005, none have prepared these plans, which had a deadline of 2020. It is clear from the response that none of the states was even aware that state action plans were to be prepared.

The report also noted that , ” There is a cause for concern that all, except Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, have interpreted the State Action Plan as a compilation of individual city action plans prepared for their respective non-retention cities.” of it.” The Guidelines 2019 for the State Action Plan was created by MoEFCC and CPCB. The CPCB has said that the time till June 2021 has elapsed that the guidelines are yet to be prepared. These findings are detailed in the report “Neither Action nor Plan” (“Neither Action nor Plan”). NCAP targets non-containment cities for air pollution reduction. This excludes most polluted cities and landscapes from the scope of the plan. This is why state action plans become important.

Bad action
While state action plans have been prepared, which initiated the action, they are flawed fundamentally in their approach. A major intervention under NCAP was to increase air quality monitoring across India. This included 1500 increased from 703 to manual monitoring stations in 4000 cities, Indo Gangetik plane (to add up to 150 real-time continuous monitoring stations and 100 stations in rural areas in 45-50 cities in the Indo-Gangetic plains).

According to the Life of “Up in the Air” report, spending on manual monitoring stations is inappropriate. It states that , “ Manual monitoring systems record data less frequently and are more prone to errors and delays. Despite the more efficient CAAQMS ( Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station) technology , the government is planning to spend a huge amount of the allocated funds on the old manual monitoring operation. “

The report also found that despite similarly high levels of air pollution in rural areas , urban areas have been given unjustified priority in monitoring. The report said that Delhi has 48 monitoring stations instead of the required 42 , while the heavily polluted Korba (Chhattisgarh) has none. In addition , NCAP has planned only 100 stations in rural areas where about 66.7% of the total population of India resides. The Up in the Air report also said that ignoring small towns and rural areas is an environmental injustice.

Sunil Dahiya, analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air ( CREA) , said , “ It is a sad fact that the air quality data manually monitored from most of the existing nearly 800 stations is maintained by the respective SPCBs and other agencies. and is not provided in a transparent manner and lack of any common platform for collection of this data with minimum lag.On Data Transparency for NAMP ( National Air Monitoring Program) data from pollution monitoring agencies in view of the poor performance, to establish real-time and transparent data collection and sharing protocols is important to establish what can only be possible with an extensive network across the country CAAQMS. 

Identified non-Atenment city, where pollution levels of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 2009, and the city concerned under the NCAP over an action plan draft. A review of plans for five cities — Ghaziabad , Noida , Pune , Kolkata , Guwahati — found them critically deficient. Published in four reports , Life’s analysis concluded that none of the plans took into account city-specific pollution sources when formulating policy action. For example, one Aires Apporshanment study (source partition studies for Pune) provided important insights on activities that cause pollution, but the city’s action plan do not pay attention to them. In addition , most of the plans replicate existing policies instead of targeted and subtle interventions.

In particular , city ​​plans provide a unique opportunity to adopt a decentralized approach to air pollution control , where regional/local level factors and insights can guide action. The analysis shows that this opportunity was not used. For example, all five city significant increase in the action plan of the neighboring areas of industrial pollution, the city’s pollution, failed to keep in mind. Furthermore , while pollutant profiles are known for most cities through appropriation studies, studies or other sources, the necessary action has not been taken to match these information. Hence most of the plans can be termed as unscientific.

According to the analysis of life, is not told about any of the construction of the five cities of pollution and detail about the waste. Instead , they tout the implementation of the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules , 2016 as an action on that front. This not only shows that the plans are poorly designed but also that the almost six year old rules have not been followed.

Life report said, “the country is known for its poor air quality globally, it NCAP unfortunately is one of the most ambitious cleanup programs in the world. If all targets are completed, then Even NCAP will not make any difference to the air quality in most cities and landscapes of India. But even these very modest targets are unlikely to be met. This is due to the lack of seriousness on the part of all implementing agencies in meeting the NCAP targets. is.”

Conclusions focused on a few cities:

·          In the case of Pune , the neighboring Pimpri-Chinchwad region is home to several polluting industries and emissions flow directly into Pune. This is a major part of the city’s pollution and therefore should have been addressed in the action plan.

·          Similarly in Guwahati , the plan limits itself to the city limits of Guwahati , while the Kamrup district and surrounding districts of Meghalaya are centers of industrial and mining activities and therefore a major source of air pollution. Industrial sector trucks also cause pollution on city roads , but no regulation has been proposed on the entry of trucks into the city.

·          Kolkata’s action plan misses an opportunity to take advantage of the already existing tram rail system , which is an emission-free mode of public transport. Instead , its public transport interventions follow trends to add GPS and IT- based fleet monitoring.

·          The plans for both the major metropolitan areas , Ghaziabad and Noida , are almost identical. Similar actions have been given for both the cities , which means that their specific pollution profiles are not taken into account at all. Both plans lack specific targets to reduce pollution.

Also read in Hindi: नहीं है भारत के पास वायु को साफ करने के लिए कोई ठोस कार्य योजना: विशेषज्ञ

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