New Delhi 14th December 2018 | The environment minister Dr HarshVardhan, in the interview to a media house has assured that the much anticipated National Clean Air Programme will be released around 20th December.
“After missing multiple timelines since last December, we hope at least this time National Clean Air Programme will be announced. NCAP announcement will be a big achievement since not a single monitored location in the country complies with safe limits prescribed by WHO for air pollution and more than 80% locations registering pollution levels beyond Indian standards, making air pollution a national health emergency. It’s also encouraging to read that Dr Harshvardhan is positive towards energy transition and having stringent legal provisions for execution of NCAP, however continuing over reliance on coal and other fossil fuels and not having sectoral targets for pollution reduction across polluting sectors is a big of concern” says Sunil Dahiya, Senior Campaigner Greenpeace India
NCAP must have
Sectoral Target – It’s a concern that the Minister has said that specific sectoral targets are not envisaged in NCAP. For an effective NCAP, it has to have a sectoral targets with clear timelines for pollution/emission load reduction for next 3 years, 5 years and 10 years so that effective targeted absolute reduction in pollution levels are achieved across the country in a systematic and coordinated way.
Emission Reduction Targets – NCAP must have emission reduction targets of 35% in three years and 50% in next five years as communicated by Dr Harsh Vardhan earlier this year.
Emission Standards Compliance by Coal Based Thermal Power Plants – Approximately 76,000 premature deaths could have been averted if the coal power plants in India would had complied to the emission standard norms notified by the MoEFCC in 2015 on time. NCAP must include the deadlines given by the Supreme Court for implementation of the thermal power plants and ensure that monitoring if the implementation takes place to ensure time bound implementation.