Madurai has been identified as one of the 122 non-attainment cities across the country with higher levels of air pollution under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
Madurai Corporation, the nodal body to implement the programme, has prepared a draft action plan to bring down pollution levels in the next five years.
The Centre launched NCAP as a long-term and time-bound strategy to tackle air pollution in a comprehensive manner. The programme aims to achieve 20% to 30% reduction in PM 10 and PM 2.5 concentrations by 2024, keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of the concentration. The 122 cities have been identified across the country based on the Air Quality data from 2014 to 2018.
A corporation official said the concentration of PM 10 and PM 2.5 in the city were higher than the average levels. Madurai is among the four cities identified in Tamil Nadu under NCAP.
The civic body has prepared a rough action plan to tackle this issue and has submitted a proposal to the Central government seeking around ₹ 451 crore. "The proposal was about the steps that must be taken to reduce the levels of pollution in the next five years. The civic body is still waiting for the approval of the proposal," said the Corporation official.
According to the draft action plan of the Corporation, interventions are required for controlling air pollution mainly caused due to road dust, construction activities, traffic congestion, waste dumping and burning, and vehicular emissions.
Regularly removing dust settled on roads, improving the green cover, and constructing water fountains at major traffic intersections are some of the steps proposed to reduce dust pollution in the city.
Corporation Commissioner S. Visakan said that a private consultant will be engaged to identify the steps that need to be taken to reduce the levels of air pollution in the city.