DMPQ-. Explain the measures taken by central and state governments to curb the menace of air pollution in India.

. National Ambient Air Quality Standards envisaging 12 pollutants have been notified under the EPA, 1986 along with 115 emission/effluent standards for 104 different sectors of industries, besides 32 general standards. Government is executing a nation-wide programme of ambient air quality monitoring known as National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP). The network consists of six hundred and ninety-one manual operating stations covering three hundred and three cities/towns in twenty-nine states and four union territories. With reference to vehicular pollution the steps taken include introduction of cleaner/ alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG, etc.) ethanol blending, universalization of BS-IV by 2017; leapfrogging from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards by 1st April, 2020; on going promotion of public transport network of metro, buses, e-rickshaws and promotion of carpooling, streamlining granting of Pollution Under Control Certificate, lane discipline, vehicle maintenance, etc.

National Air Quality Index (AQI) was launched in 2015 starting with 14 cities and then extended to 34. A Graded Response Action Plan for control of air pollution in Delhi and NCR region has been notified. This plan specifies actions required for controlling particulate matter )PM emissions from various sources) and prevent PM 10 and PM 2.5 livels to go beyond ‘moderate’ national Air Quality Index (AQI) category. The measures are cumulative. Emergency and severe levels include cumulatively all other measures listed in the lower levels and AQI including very poor, poor and moderate. Actions listed in the poor to moderate category need to be implemented though out the year. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued a comprehensive set of directions for implementation of 42 measures to mitigate air pollution in major cities including Delhi and NCR. In order to involve people in the efforts, Government launched a campaign called ‘Harit Diwali and Swasth Diwali’ in 2017 involving over 200 schools in Delhi and over two lakh schools in the country. A mini marathon for ‘Swachh Hawa for Swachh and Swasth Bharat’ was also organised in 2017.

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