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When the Indian government launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in 2019, it was to cut the concentration of atmospheric Particulate Matter (PM) by 20-30% by 2024, from 2017 levels. This was later revised to 40% by 2026.

Under NCAP, cities continuously violating annual PM levels in India need to prepare and implement annual Clean Air Action Plans (CAAPs). To facilitate this, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change has allocated ₹10,422.73 crore. Most cities proactively submitted their CAAPs yet their implementation has been inconsistent. On average, only 60% of the allocated funds have been used thus far, according to the Ministry, with 27% of cities spending less than 30% of their designated budgets. Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru have spent 0% and 1% of their NCAP funds, respectively. Implementation delays hinder NCAP’s success, particularly delays in approvals from the competent authorities (for example, the technical specification of tendering processes or for procuring products such as mechanical sweepers and electric buses).

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The article was published in both print and digital versions.
Cover Photo by Corina Rainer on Unsplash
On the National Clean Air Programme