Chandra Bhushan, president and CEO of iFOREST speaks to Ananda Banerjee about the government’s measures to battle pollution and the flaws in the plan. Excerpts…
Is the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) target of 20-30 per cent reduction in particulate matter (PM) by 2024 achievable?
It is possible to achieve the target, but the target itself is weak in design and ambition. Firstly, there is no scientific basis for choosing this target. Even if we meet the target, the air quality would still be very polluted. Delhi, for instance, will have an air quality in 2024 that would be twice the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
Second, one cannot understand the logic of setting a mid-term target without setting the long-term goal. Mid-term targets are selected on the basis of long-term goals, not vice versa. So, the NCAP target is basically a shot in the dark.