Mumbai: 120 institutes identified to form network to measures cities’ performance under NCAP

Institutes such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Science (IIScs) and labs of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have been identified as Institutes of Repute (IoRs) to aid and measure NCAP.
IIT-Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Guwahati, Roorkee and Kanpur have been identified as nodal coordinating institutes. (HT File Photo)
IIT-Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Guwahati, Roorkee and Kanpur have been identified as nodal coordinating institutes. (HT File Photo)
Published on Jan 21, 2021 02:00 AM IST
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ByPriyanka Sahoo, Mumbai

Around 120 scientific institutes have been identified across the country to form a National Knowledge Network (NKN) that will measure the performance of cities in achieving the goals under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

Institutes such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Science (IIScs) and labs of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have been identified as Institutes of Repute (IoRs) to aid and measure NCAP.

NCAP is a programme initiated by the Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) to reduce ambient air pollution levels. The programme identified 122 non-attainment cities with high pollution levels and directed them to submit an action plan to reduce their pollution levels by at least 20% by 2024. The national target is to reduce particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and 10 by 20%-30% at both rural and urban levels by 2024.

The objectives of NCAP are stringent implementation of mitigation measures for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution to augment air quality monitoring network across the country and to increase public awareness.

“The NKN will act as an advisory expert group to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). It will also have three independent experts along with nominated officers from CPCB and MoEF,” said Sachchida Nand Tripathi, national coordinator of NKN and professor and head of department of civil engineering, IIT-Kanpur.

IIT-Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Guwahati, Roorkee and Kanpur have been identified as nodal coordinating institutes.

Tripathi said IoRs will partner with state pollution control boards and urban local bodies to provide knowledge-based support for implementation of NCAP goals. “These institutes may undertake air quality monitoring work, data analysis, data utilisation, compilation and prepare reports. They will also check compliance verification for emission norms to provide input to policymakers,” he said during a webinar on ‘Pathway for India to achieve air pollution goals’ on Wednesday.

“The budget is an opportunity for India to show commitment towards its fight against pollution. We would demand focus on the following four areas — a) the finance commission grant for air quality improvement receives further support and the performance framework for receiving these grants is finalised at the earliest, b) budgets allocated under NCAP are sustained and increased substantially, c) that the budget provides clarity on how Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Standards (CAAQMS) will get funded by the Centre, and lastly d) further investments in clean household fuels and schemes like Ujjwala,” said Dr Santosh Harish, fellow at Centre for Policy Research.

BOX:

CAAQMS

With an aim to build transparency and accountability of efforts taken under NCAP, CarbonCopy and Respirer Living Sciences released a new dashboard at the webinar which presents a comprehensive one-stop platform to access CAAQMS being provided as part of CPCB’s nationwide real-time monitoring network.

The dashboard is designed to list the data and also allow viewers to draw comparisons between seasons, monthly and annual averages, and even examine hyper-local monitoring by zooming into specific cities and neighbourhoods to identify polluted pockets.

The dashboard has allowed transparency for not just PM2.5 and 10 data but also for harmful gases like Nitrogen Dioxide (NOx), Ozone (O3) and Carbon Monoxide (CO).

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