What are the key features of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) initiated by the Government of India? (250 words)

The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is an ambitious initiative launched by the Government of India to tackle the problem of air pollution in the country. Some key features of the NCAP are:

  • The NCAP aims to reduce the concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 (particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 and 10 microns or less) by 20-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024. These cities have been identified as non-attainment cities, meaning that their air quality does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards set by the government.
  • The NCAP is a time-bound, goal-oriented and action-oriented programme that seeks to address the sources of air pollution and improve air quality in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
  • The NCAP includes measures such as strengthening of air quality monitoring networks, control of emissions from key sectors such as transport, industry, power plants, and construction, promotion of clean energy sources and technologies, and public awareness and capacity building.
  • The NCAP is a voluntary programme and is being implemented in a decentralized manner, with the state governments playing a key role in its implementation.
  • The NCAP has a budget of INR 300 crore (approx. USD 40 million) for the first two years, which will be used for various activities such as strengthening of monitoring networks, research and development, and capacity building.
  • The NCAP also includes provisions for technical assistance and financial support to states and cities for the implementation of air pollution control measures.
  • The NCAP is a dynamic programme and its implementation will be reviewed and updated periodically based on the progress made and the evolving situation.
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