National Clean Air Programme: Centre aims at 40% reduction in particulate matter by 2026

The acceptable annual standard for PM2.5 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre

September 27, 2022 02:02 pm | Updated 06:31 pm IST - New Delhi:

File photo for representation.

File photo for representation. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Centre has set a new target of a 40% reduction in particulate matter concentration in cities covered under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) by 2026, updating the earlier goal of 20 to 30% reduction by 2024, officials have said.

According to the Union Environment Ministry, 95 of the 131 non-attainment cities covered under the NCAP have witnessed an “overall improvement” in PM10 levels in 2021 as compared to 2017 levels.  Twenty cities, including Chennai, Madurai and Nashik, have met the national standards for annual average PM10 concentration (60 microgram per cubic metre).

The acceptable annual standard for PM2.5 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre.

PM2.5 are fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller, and pose the greatest risk to health.

The 132 cities covered under the NCAP did not meet the prescribed national ambient air quality standards for five consecutive years (2011-2015).

"The goal of 20 to 30% reduction in PM levels has to be met by 2024. The results under NCAP have been good so far. So, we have decided to update the reduction target to 40% by 2026," an official of the environment ministry said. Under NCAP, city-specific action plans have been prepared which include measures for strengthening the air quality monitoring network, reducing vehicular and industrial emissions, increasing public awareness, etc.

"The cities are also updating their action plans to meet the updated targets," the official said. Cities that showed overall improvement in PM 10 concentration since 2017 include Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Patna, Nagpur, Pune, Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly, Firozabad, Moradabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Raipur among others.

In Delhi, the PM10 concentration has reduced from 241 micrograms per cubic metre in 2017 to 196 micrograms per cubic metre in 2021.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.