Implementation of clean air policy undertaken considering the challenge posed due to growing air pollution reported in the large cities. This would enable emission levels under check through an effective monitoring mechanism in place.
However, despite three years into the launch of NCAP in 2019, analysis of pollution levels shows there has been a marginal decrease in pollution levels in targeted cities. It also shows an insufficient expenditure of funds by the States to ensure air pollution reduction.
The institutions engaged in regulatory functioning both at the Central Govt and States’ level need to be strengthened in maintaining environmental-regulation standards in large cities/urban centres. To a large extent, an effective regulation system will reduce pollution at various levels.
National Clean Air Programme
The Scheme-Control of Pollution has been conceptualised to provide financial assistance to Pollution control Boards/Committees and financing to National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
The Finance Minister allocated Rs 1950 crore for Production Link Initiative for the manufacture of high-efficiency modules with primary to fully integrated manufacturing units from polysilicon to solar PV modules that infrastructure is needed to make EVs mainstream and improve their use case especially in the public transport and goods delivery segments.
In the Budget announced include; 5% to 7% biomass pellets will be co-fired in thermal power plants resulting in CO, savings of 38 MMT annually. This will also help avoid stubble burning in the northern States. Additionally, energy efficiency and savings measures will be promoted.
Challenges and way forward:
However, the country has lost more than 1600 sq km of natural forests in this period. But some of the loss has been compensated by an improvement of the health in some of the protected areas and reserve forests while a large part of the increase is due to more areas coming from under the plantations which experts argue are no substitute for natural forests when it comes to providing critical ecological services.
The reported loss of 1000 sq km of natural forests in the north-eastern States should cause concern. GIM has to be aggressively and effectively implemented throughout the States with quality planting materials.
The research activities into restoring biodiversity, conserving landscapes, and preserving the natural balance biodiversity pan India will have to be encouraged.