Why in news?
- The Union Environment Ministry has proposed to extend the measurement of air quality to 22 state capitals and 44 other cities with a population exceeding one million.
About the Index:
- NAQI was launched in 2014 with outline ‘One Number – One Color -One Description’ for the common man to judge the air quality within his vicinity.
- It has been launched for monitoring the quality of air in major urban centers across the country on a real-time basis and enhancing public awareness for taking mitigative action.
- The measurement of air quality is based on eight pollutants, namely,
Particulate Matter (PM10), Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Ammonia (NH3), and Lead (Pb).
- The ambient air quality standards are specified separately in India for around 12 pollutants including the 8 that constitute the Air Quality Index.
- AQI has six categories of air quality. These are: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor and Severe.
- It has been launched for 10 cities at present – Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Faridabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
- It has been developed by the CPCB in consultation with IIT-Kanpur and an expert group comprising medical and air-quality professionals.
- Thus, India has joined the global league of countries like the US, China, Mexico and France that have implemented smog alert systems.