Chennai only metro city not in national clean air plan

City-based environmentalists question the rationale behind Chennai being left out. In the first place, there are very limited CPCB monitors in Tamil Nadu.

Published: 11th January 2019 03:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2019 06:08 AM   |  A+A-

Marina Beach (File | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Chennai is the only major metropolitan city in the country that has been excluded from National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan launched on Thursday. 

From Tamil Nadu, Thoothukudi makes the list of 102 non-attainment cities, which are considered to be most polluted with respect to ambient air. Other important metros like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Kolkata and Hyderabad are all among the non-attainment cities. 

As per the NCAP, a full copy of which is accessed by Express, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified a list of polluted cities in which the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQs) are violated. These cities have been identified based on the ambient air quality data obtained between 2011-15 under the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP). PM10 has been found to be exceeding in 94 cities consecutively for five years and NO2 is exceeding limits in five cities. PM2.5 data since 2015 indicate 16 cities as non-attainment cities. Besides, considering WHO-2018 ambient air quality database, 102 non-attainment cities are identified. 

City-based environmentalists question the rationale behind Chennai being left out. In the first place, there are very limited CPCB monitors in Tamil Nadu. Though Chennai’s coast mitigated the city’s pollution to some extent, the city consistently breaches the permissible pollution levels. Continuous air quality monitors in Manali, Velachery and IIT-Madras record high pollution levels. “In fact, Chennai’s suburb Manali is one of  the most critically polluted in India, as per the CPCB’s comprehensive environmental pollution index,” said environmentalist Shweta Narayanan. 

Other tier-2 cities like Vellore, Cuddalore, Tirupur, which have industrial clusters, were also declared by CPCB as critically polluted long back. How is that all these cities are not part of NCAP, experts ask.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp