Environmental NGO, Centre for Science and
Environment has released new results from its on-going analysis of air quality
trends in Delhi to highlight Delhi’s struggle with air pollution and what it
takes to control pollution.
The CSE has noted that after the launch of
comprehensive clean air action plan and graded response action plan, there are
early signs of stabilisation and reduction in pollution level in Delhi.
However, CSE has warned that even after reduction
and stabilisation of pollution levels, Delhi needs to cut pollution level by 65%
to meet the air quality standards.
In pursuant with Supreme Court’s order in the M.
C. Mehta vs. Union of India (2016) regarding air quality in National Capital
Region of Delhi, a Graded Response Action Plan was notified by MoEFCC. Under
GRAP, there are 4 stages of pollution – Moderate to Poor, Very Poor, Severe and
Severe+ or Emergency and action are listed that need to be undertaken as the
levels are breached.
In February 2017, The Supreme Court directed
Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to work on a comprehensive
action plan (CAP) for air pollution control. CAP lists medium and long-term
actions for all pollution sources for Delhi and NCR.
In 2019, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) has
been launched for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in India.
It is a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
It aims at 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5and PM10
concentration by 2024, taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of
The programme targets 102 non-attainment cities
which were identified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of
their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.
Non-attainment cities are those which have been
consistently showing poorer air quality than the National Ambient Air Quality
Standards (NAAQS). Delhi is one of the non-attainment cities.