NCAP

About National Clean Air Programme

The union government launched the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) on 10th January 2019 to address air pollution in 102 cities, to which 20 more cities were added later in the year. These 122 cities are called non-attainment cities

What are Non-Attainment Cities?

These cities are referred to as non-attainment cities as they did not meet the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for the period of 2011-15 under the National Air Quality Monitoring Program (NAMP).
Bullseye

Target 2024

The NCAP has set a target of reducing key air pollutants PM10 and PM2.5 (ultra-fine particulate matter) by 20-30% in 2024 taking the pollution levels in 2017 as the base year to improve upon.

This is an interim target as the reduction needed to meet air quality standards in many cities is more than 30%.

India’s Road to Clean Air

A timeline of events since the launch of India’s National Clean Air Programme

April 2017

Concept note on NCAP drafted

MoEFCC released a concept note on the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), seeking comments from concerned stakeholders by May 17, 2018.

April 2017

January 2019

India’s first National Clean Air Programme launched

The government launched the National Clean Air Programme, a time-bound national-level strategy to tackle increasing air pollution.

January 2019

May 2019

84 cities submit plans for improving air quality

Eighty-four out of the 102 cities that have been tasked with reducing toxic particulate matter levels by 20%-30% by 2024 submitted proposals

May 2019

August 2019

20 more cities added to CPCB’s ‘polluted’ list

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has added 20 more cities from eight states to the list of polluted cities which do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards

August 2019

February 2020

Budget 2020: Rs 4,400 crore allocated to clean air

FM Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will renew its focus on environment and climate change, but experts say details will have to be ironed out for effective implementation

February 2020

July 2020

Lockdown helped achieve 95% National Clean Air Programme targets in 74 days

Clampdown on non-essential activities during Covid-19 pandemic led to a significant decline in air pollution levels across India.

July 2020

February 2021

Government earmarks ₹2,217 crores for tackling air pollution

The Centre earmarked a sum of ₹2,217 crore for tackling air pollution in 42 urban centres, even as it shrunk the budgetary allocation for the environment ministry from the last fiscal by nearly eight per cent for 2021-22.

February 2021

National Clean Air Programme

The union government launched the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) on 10th January 2019 to address air pollution in 102 cities, to which 20 more cities were added later in the year. These cities are referred to as non-attainment cities (NACs) as they did not meet the following national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for the period of 2011-15 under the National Air Quality Monitoring Program (NAMP).

PM 1060 micrograms / cubic metre ( annual )
PM 2.540 micrograms / cubic metre ( annual )

The NCAP has set a target of reducing key air pollutants PM10 and PM2.5 (ultra-fine particulate matter) by 20-30% in 2024 taking 2017 as the base year. Particulate matters are hazardous as they can cause serious health problems.

Entities involved in the program

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are leading the program at the national level. At the state level, State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) are mandated to develop the city action plans and monitor their implementation by identified departments and agencies.

Technical institutions in every state have been identified to support the SPCBs

NCAP 2024 target of 20 to 30%

Analysis of pollution levels in many cities in the NCAP program shows that they will continue to remain polluted even if the target of reducing 20-30% of PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations are achieved in the next five years.

Funding allocated 2019-20

Out of the 102 cities, for 28 of them with over 10 lakh population and air quality of PM10 > 90ug/m³, the Union Environment Ministry has allocated ₹10 crore fund for 2 years

For the remaining non-attainment cities, funding of ₹10 lakh per city for those with a population of five lakh and ₹20lakh per city for those with a population of five to ten lakh have been sancitoned

Information Source:
All data on the budget and actual disbursement has been sourced through RTIs from Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in December 2019. All data on air quality monitors (AQM) and PM levels has been sourced from CPCB and NAMP.