Twice as many cities “polluted” with PM10 than government targets: Report

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New Delhi,A Jan 29 (IANS) A new report by Greenpeace on the ambient air quality in Indian cities has claimed that the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)– launched by the government earlier this month–is not as comprehensive as was claimed and even if it achieves its goals of reducing PM 10 levels in its target cities by 2024, there will still be 139 cities across India- – including smart cities – – left with hazardous levels of pollution.

The report– Airpocalypse III– published on Tuesday carried pollution data from 313 cities across country, out of which, it said, 241 cities were found with PM10 levels beyond what is prescribed by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The NCAP, the government’s five-year clean air mission which was launched by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, had zeroed in on 102 cities, including 43 smart cities, where it aims to reduce the PM10 levels by 20-30 per cent by 2024.

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The report said even if the government manages to achieve its target by 2024, “we will still be left with 139 cities where the air will be replete with lethal pollutants like PM10 and many others”.

The NGO used the air quality data from government sources like Central and State Pollution Control Board from the year 2017.

“The omission (on part of the government) is due to the fact that the list of non-attainment cities in the NCAP Awas drawn together using data from the years 2011-2015,” the report said.

A statement from the NGO said it has asked the government to revise its data and use the one for 2017 for more genuine numbers.

While the government has included 43 smart cities among its targets (102) for the pollution control, the report reckoned that there were 65 such cities out of 100 proposed, which came under “non-attainment”A category, the report said.

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–IANS

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