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NCAP cannot generate changes unless data and reporting issues are corrected – editorials


Two-thirds of the world’s most polluted cities are in India, and Delhi has the worst air among all capitals, the IQAir AirVisual 2019 Global Air Quality Report said on Tuesday, which takes readings from 98 countries. The study was based on the annual average concentration levels of PM2.5. (PM2.5 particles are up to 2.5 microns in size and can enter the bloodstream through the respiratory system to travel through the body, causing problems such as asthma, lung cancer and heart disease).

The road map to clean the air of Delhi has been clear for some time. While the closure of power plants and large industry, the transition of natural gas in all sectors, the gradual elimination of old vehicles, the reduction in the number of trucks, BS-VI fuels and BS-IV standards, and more, they have doubled the curve, the most disruptive action is necessary for the transition of clean energy and technology, mobility transition and waste management to get the next big cut. There should also be greater awareness about the nature and direction of the action to drive change more strategically and to achieve an effective impact.

While the media focuses on the non-flattering IQAir AirVisual report, which occurs one year after the Center launched the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), it has been in the area of ​​the National Capital Region of Delhi, this also It is an opportune moment to look at how other cities that are in the NCAP, the ambitious five-year action plan with a tentative goal of 20-30% reduction in the concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 in 102 cities without achievements, by 2024, with 2017 as the base year. This is important because IQAir AirVisual says that India has 14 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world.

While air quality monitoring has begun to expand under the NCAP to address the data deficit, without a methodical system for reporting, the data will remain unusable and cannot drive change in cities. For example, the CSE Breathing Space, How to track and report air pollution under the National Clean Air Program, says that manual monitors require at least 104 days of monitoring, which is 28.5% of the days in a year . But the organization’s evaluation of the latest manual data available for all cities shows that up to 73% of monitoring stations do not meet this requirement. Cities are also expected to immediately begin reporting their annual progress; but for that, they must know the standard operating methods and procedures for such reports. No official method has been published for compliance reports by cities / states. Along with addressing the sources of air pollution, these problems must be corrected without further delay to ensure that cities are on the right track to get clean air.

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