Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has said that a holistic approach towards reduction of air pollution is being implemented through the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in 122 cities in the country. NCAP targets to achieve 20 to 30 % reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024.
Talking on the factors of air pollution to a Facebook audience on Monday, he said that vehicular emissions, industrial emissions, dust from construction and demolition sites, biomass burning, poor waste management and stubble burning were prime reasons for air pollution. Pollution in northern India during winter got exacerbated when these factors combined with geographical and meteorological factors.
The number of ‘good’ air days increased to 218 in 2020 against 106 in 2016, and the number of poor quality air days decreased to 56 in 2020 against 156 in 2016, from January 1 to September 30.
Terming introduction of BSVI compliant vehicle standard since April 2020 across the country as a revolutionary step towards the reduction of vehicular pollution, the Minister explained that BSVI helped to reduce pollution caused by vehicles. BSVI fuel reduces the NOx emission by 70% in diesel cars and 25% in petrol cars and reduces particulate matter(PM) in vehicles by 80%.
The Minister urged people to minimise the use of personal vehicles, and use the metro and other public modes of transport. He also urged them to switch to cleaner modes of transport. Closure of Badarpur and Sonipat thermal power plants, conversion to zig-zag technologies in brick kilns, 2800 industries switching to PNG fuel and ban on pet coke and furnace oil helped cut emission level.