IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)                                            


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Context: Several states failed to utilise the funds provided by the Centre under the national clean air programme (NCAP) to control air pollution in their respective states, according to data released by environment ministry during the first meeting of the NCAP’s National Apex Committee.

Key findings:

A total of ₹375.44 crore was provided under NCAP to 114 cities from 2018-19 to 2020-21, and ₹290 crores to 82 cities for 2021-22.

Utilisation of the ₹375.44 crores given in the past two years has been low by most states, according to the data, with 22 states under NCAP collectively utilising only 33.53% of the amount.

Bihar and Chandigarh utilised 77% and 82% respectively of the fund, but Punjab and Uttar Pradesh utilised only 17%, Chhattisgarh 21%, Andhra Pradesh 10%, Assam 4%, Himachal Pradesh 2%, and Jammu & Kashmir 1%. The utilisation by Uttarakhand and West Bengal was 53% and 58% respectively.

Why NCAP fund are unutilized?

It does not have a legal mandate but aims to achieve a 20% to 30% reduction in PM 2.5 (respirable pollution particles) concentrations over 2017 levels in over 100 cities by 2024. The ministry in a statement said that the number of cities showing improvement in air quality increased from 86 in 2019 to 96 in 2020.

About National Clean Air Programme:

It was launched to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024.

It is envisaged as a scheme to provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution.

102 cities from 23 States and UTs have been chosen as non-attainment cities. With the exception of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, most of those chosen are tier two cities.

Apart from experts from the industry and academia, the programme is expected to be a collaboration between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, NITI Aayog, and Central Pollution Control Board.