Connect Karo: City-specific holistic action plans needed to combat air pollution
India needs to follow a multi-sectoral approach for the preparation of city specific action plans for controlling pollution levels, experts said in a discussion organised by World Resources Institute (WRI), India, in its annual flagship conference Connect Karo, which highlights ways of designing inclusive, sustainable and climate forward cities.
In its session, ‘Air Pollution: From Policy to Action’, panellists discussed the need for holistic plans to combat the problem. Experts also discussed how the Union government’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is leading cities to achieve its targets of reducing air pollution by 20-30% by 2024.
Ajay Singh Nagpure, head (air quality and sustainable cities), WRI (India), said multiple stakeholders must come together for the execution of the clean air action planning.
“Actions on ground have their effects on the natural components such as air, thus citizens and authorities must act in coherence for the best results,” Nagpure said.
The NCAP was launched by the ministry of environment, forests and climate change in January 2019, as a five-year strategy to reduce pollution in different Indian states in a comprehensive manner. Under NCAP, city specific air pollution mitigation action plans were required to be developed by all cities identified by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Experts said the first step towards controlling air pollution in India’s urban centre is to identify the magnitude of the problem and to tailor plans to solve the unique problems that each city faces.
“Recognising the issues of air pollution in the urban areas is the first major step in the direction of controlling it. NCAP has identified the issue of increasing air pollution in 124 urban agglomerations in India have been given the task of preparing city specific clean air programmes,” said Kishore Wankhade, manager, WRI (India).
The discussion also highlighted how source apportionment studies and emission inventory could help identify the sources of pollution in a region, which would further help prepare clean air action plans. Satellites-based data and air quality monitoring stations can also be used to fill the gaps and provide a better perspective on air quality, they said.