The target was set in 2019 with the launch of the National Clean Action Programme (NCAP) , which was then further increased to 40 per cent by 2026. 

National Clean Air Programme miss 2024 target to cut air pollution: Study

Most major cities in the country are way behind the target of reducing 20 to 30 % particulate pollution by 2024, according to a study by Climate Trends and group of climate scientists and engineers Respirer Living Sciences, based on Central Pollution Control Board. data. The target was set in 2019 with the launch of the National Clean Action Programme (NCAP) , which was then further increased to 40 per cent by 2026. 

However, The cities fell short despite about Rs 9,650 crore being pumped into controlling air pollution across 131 non-attainment cities so far, out of which nearly 60 per cent — Rs 5,835 crore — being utilised by the cities. Non-attainment cities are designated as such if they consistently fail to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM10 that has a diameter of 10 microns or less) or nitrogen dioxide over a five-year period.

The study, revealed that of 46 cities tracked over the years (others do not have continuous data, which is a failure in and of itself), the PM10 level in 22 cities has deteriorated over the last five years, while only 8 cities have met the initial target of reducing pollution levels by 20 to 30 per cent, it found.

NTPC makes hydrogen cooking stove that emits zero carbon

NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance (NETRA), the R&D wing of India’s largest integrated power utility NTPC, has demonstrated successful hydrogen cooking with zero carbon emissions, using hydrogen from an existing green hydrogen plant at its campus in Greater Noida.

“Burning characteristics of hydrogen are much different from LPG or PNG wrt flame color (almost invisible), flame temperature (1200-1500 degrees C), flame propagation speed, etc. Also, unlike LPG or PNG, hydrogen cannot be premixed with air before its ignition – else it would form an explosive mixture,” stated NETRA.

“Considering the above, a hydrogen burner was designed and used in a modified cookstove to prepare food. It may also be mentioned that the emission from hydrogen burner is only water vapor with zero carboneous element.”

Oil spill in Ennore brings fishing to a standstill

As many as 2,301 fisher families have been affected, and 787 boats remain damaged as a massive oil spill has damaged their fishing territory. Crude oil, reportedly from the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL), a public sector refining company, leaked into the Kosasthalaiyar river, Ennore Creek, and the sea. This was exacerbated by floods because it resulted in a quick spread of the oil, confirms an expert (on condition of anonymity) from the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras (IIT-M), reported Mongabay-India.

The report added that the tested water contained eight volatile organic compounds, including Benzene, Toluene, and Styrene, as well as sixteen Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) such as Naphthalene, Fluorene, and Anthracene. “As per the Bureau of Indian Standards for drinking water, the total petroleum hydrocarbons should be 0.1 parts per billion. However, the tested water showed a significantly higher level of 3,240 parts per billion. Volatile Organic Compounds such as Benzene, Styrene, and Ethylbenzene, on the other hand, are 50 to 60 times higher than the standards,”

Flights, trains delayed as dense fog wraps India

A thick layer of toxic smog wreathed Bangladesh’s capital of Dhaka on Wednesday as the air quality index plummeted into the “hazardous” category, while similar conditions prevailed in New Delhi, the capital of neighbouring India. The air quality in Dhaka, one of the world’s most crowded cities with more than 20 million people, has deteriorated as large projects spring up and fossil fuels get overused, bringing health problems for many.

Images from drones equipped with cameras showed smog at 9 a.m. (0300 GMT) that put Dhaka in top spot among the world’s most polluted cities, with a “hazardous” index level of 325, Swiss group IQAir said. But conditions improved slightly, with the index dropping to 177, in the “unhealthy” range, by 1.35 p.m. (0735 GMT).City authorities spray the streets with water to help the dust settle, but residents called for greater efforts.

In New Delhi, the Indian capital, pollution was also high, with an index reading of 378, according to the Central Pollution Control Board, for a rating of “very poor”.

More than 100 flights were delayed and rail services disrupted by an enveloping fog amid temperatures of 11 degrees Celsius (51.8 degrees Fahrenheit), said news agency ANI, in which Reuters has a minority stake.