As the nation’s capital continues to be shrouded in haze and pollutionand its air quality worsening, India said at the first Global Air Pollution and Health Conference by the World Health Organisation in Geneva that it would bring down pollution levels, particularly particulate matter pollution, in “definite percentage terms by 2024”. The target, which will be officially announced soon, is expected to be around 30% from current levels.
A reduction of 30% over the next five years would fall short of the target of 35% over the next three years and 50% in five years proposed by environment minister Harsh Vardhan in February this year. While the draft National Clean Air Plan put forward by the central government in mid-April recognised the need for timelines, it did not propose any targets. Explaining the rationale, the environment minister had said that a countrywide target would be both difficult to implement and evaluate. Instead, he explained, a more practical approach would be to set city-wise percentage reduction targets with fixed timelines, which could be set after reviewing the city’s action plan and capacity. Harsh Vardhan had indicated that a general minimum indicative target for five years for the top ten polluted cities in the country would be a good place to make a beginning. Read more
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