Left out: India's clean air plan overlooks 231 polluted cities, according to a recent study. Source: Business Today

National Clean Air Programme leaves out 231 cities with toxic air: Study

The massive hike in the clear air plan budget may come as a relief, but the latest report on  National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) says it leaves out at least 231 cities with air as polluted as the 102 cities notified under the plan. The Greenpeace study profiled 287 cities, with over 52 days of data from 745 air pollution monitoring stations. In over 80% cases, PM (Particulate Matter) exceeded 60 microgram per cubic metre (μg/m3) prescribed under National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The report concluded that all these cities belong to the non-attainment list, but have not been added. The National Green Tribunal (NGT), too, had asked the CPCB to expand its list of such cities last year.

“Polluting activities continue”: Green court slams Malegaon administration

India’s green court, The National Green Tribunal (NGT), said the Malegaon administration has failed to shut down polluting industries and sought a status report on the issue. NGT ordered the commissioner of Malegaon Municipal Corporation, District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, the member secretary of State pollution control board, and the managing director of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd to appear in person on February 24. According to a panel report, plastic pipe manufacturing industries continue to burn plastic pellets in residential areas: 185 of 190 units having facilities for plastic-related activities and 70 out of 125 sizing units are located in residential areas.

Top 2 most polluted cities from Jharkhand, 6 of the top 10 most polluted cities from UP

According to Greenpeace report Jharia, the coal-belching city of the state of Jharkhand was the most polluted city in India, followed by the city of Dhanbad in the same state. The report based on analysis of PM10 data from 287 cities across the country. Six of the top-10 polluted cities are in Uttar Pradesh including the cities of Noida, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Allahabad, Moradabad and Firozabad. Delhi’s air has improved slightly as the city moved to 10th position, from last year’s position of 8th most polluted city of the country. 

How serious should a penalty be on coal plants that missed Dec 2019 deadline?

Indian regulators are assessing how severely they should punish the operators of coal plants that have missed the December 2019 deadline to retrofit their plants with equipment to reduce emissions. Authorities had granted some plants December 2019 deadline, while for some others the deadline was extended to 2022. Most of the coal plants missed the deadline. Around New Delhi, only one out of the 11 plants had installed equipment to cut suffer oxide emissions, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) said.

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