Greenpeace India released a report on Tuesday listing the ten most polluted cities in the country. According to the Airpocalypse report, Jharia tops the list in Jharkhand and is considered the most polluted city in India by PM10. Lunglei in Mizoram is the least polluted city.
As a slight relief for the Delhiites, the state capital has improved only slightly compared to the past two years. Delhi is currently the tenth largest polluted city in India compared to its eighth place in 2019. However, it is still more than 3.5 times more polluted than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and more than 11 times that WHO-prescribed limit values for PM10.
In 2018, The Greenpeace India identified 231 of 287 Indian cities with more than 52 monitoring days as part of the National Air Quality Monitoring Program (NAMP), in which air pollution exceeded the NAAQS 60 µg / m3 limit for PM10.
The report also highlights that almost all states, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Bihar, have a larger number of cities that have not been reached compared to the current number in the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) is included.
Amazingly, six of India's ten most polluted cities are in Uttar Pradesh – Noida, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Allahabad, Moradabad, and Firozabad.
In January 2019, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) published the first NCAP for India. The program expects cities to reduce air pollution by 20 to 30 percent by 2024 compared to 2017. However, this report highlights that the CPCB has so far identified only 122 unsuccessful cities, 102 of which under NCAP. These 122 cities are spread across 28 states and 9 Union areas and are incomplete. There are 116 other cities that, according to the 2018 annual data, exceed the NAAQS limit of 60 µg / m3 and should be included in the category of non-achievement.
The report is a clear indication that the MoEFCC must include all cities with no success in the NCAP framework. All cities listed in the NCAP have submitted a city-specific action plan for clean air, which has been approved by the CPCB for implementation on the ground. So far, however, almost none of these action plans have set a specific percentage reduction target for 2024. The plans are also lacking intermediate targets for absolute pollution reduction or sectoral targets for reducing emissions; Limits for diesel and coal consumption and reduction targets etc.
Avinash Chanchal, senior campaigner at Greenpeace India, commented on the worsening of the situation as follows: “It is worrying that more than 80% of cities have PM10 values that exceed the 60 µg / m3 required by national air quality standards for PM10. If we really want to make NCAP a “national program”, we need to include all polluted cities and implement them promptly with the addition of specific pollution and emission reduction targets. "
The city-level action plans provided by cities without NCAP achievement also have no regional approach and are too city-centered, meaning that vehicle emissions in the city are of course part of the problem, but the main emitters in nearby regions should not be ignored. The regional approach and the approach of air pollution control for air quality control need to be emphasized. "
"What is the use of performing 102 source distribution studies for cities that have no target groups if we ignore regional pollution sources and only quantify the sources based on the city's administrative boundaries and do not want to include the sectoral goals and strategies for reducing emissions?" Added Avinash Chanchal.