Air Quality Management in India

The Complete Stakeholder Analysis of Air Quality Management in India

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Stakeholder Analysis of Air Quality Management in India




India is a developing economy faced with the grappling challenge of balancing economic development with environmental and social wellbeing. Amidst all the other pressing environmental concerns, air pollution is surging ahead to be one of the most daunting environmental threats the country faces today. Air pollution is not only an environmental issue but also has mortality related health implications for human beings. Therefore, India is under immense global and national pressure to improve the air quality and address this issue with seriousness. 

 Despite the urgency, the piecemeal approach of the government in tackling the problem is leading to un-sustained short term benefits and fragmented air quality management framework. Air is a public good; hence, identifying and understanding its multi-stakeholder base and their contribution to the AQM framework is quintessential in building a robust Air Quality Management framework for the country.

 The project – ‘Stakeholder Analysis of Air Quality Management in India’, is an attempt to provide a comprehensive commentary on the present ‘Air Quality Management’ framework in the country.

 The broad objective of this report was to identify the various stakeholder organisations in the air quality management domain in India, determine the activity domain of these organisations, identify existing overlaps and inter-linkages between them, assess their efforts in relation to their stated objectives to analyze the shortcomings in the system, and thereby, make concrete recommendations while proposing a lean AQM framework for the country.

 This project report provides a holistic overview of the current status of the air quality management framework prevalent in the country while citing useful insights on the major initiatives undertaken by key stakeholders in this domain. This analysis is the first ever study to have been undertaken in this field with the sole objective of facilitating greater understanding of the framework in India and to study potential areas of development with regard to strengthening the system. Further, the in depth analysis of the framework laid the foundation stone for proposing an improved Air Quality Management Framework for India. The robust framework proposed is the first ever attempt to diagrammatic represent all the stakeholders of the AQM network and is of immense significance to all the stakeholders actively involved in improving the air quality in India. 



1.1 Sources of air pollution in India.

1.1.1 Vehicular Pollution

1.1.2 Industrial Air Pollution

1.1.3 Domestic Sources of Air Pollution

1.2 Regulatory Approach towards Control of Pollution

1.3 Air Quality Management in India – An Overview





5.1 Stakeholder mapping of the Air Quality Management Framework

5.2 Environmental Pollution Prevention Laws in India.

5.3 Stakeholder – Indian Judiciary

5.3.1 The role of Judiciary in Environment Protection

5.3.2 Supreme Court’s intervention in improving the air quality in Delhi: A case study

5.3.3 Review of the role of the judiciary in environment matters

5.4 Stakeholder- Ministries Involved

5.4.1 Ministries involved directly in the Air Quality Management framework

5.4.2 Ministries involved indirectly in the Air Quality Management framework.

5.5 Stakeholder – Government Agencies.

5.5.1 Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

5.5.2 State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB)

5.5.3 Environment Pollution (Prevention Control) Authority for the National Capital Region (EPCA)

5.5.4 Loss of Ecology (Prevention and payments of Compensation) Authority for the State of Tamil Nadu

5.5.5 Planning Commission

5.5.6 Other Government Agencies (Indirectly Involved)

5.6 Associations

5.6.1 Indian Association for Air Pollution Control (IAAPC)

5.6.2 Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM)

5.6.3 Suzlon Powered PALS (Pure Air Lovers Society)

5.6.4 Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

5.6.5 Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

5.6.6 ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India)

5.6.7 The Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA)

5.6.8 Review of Associations.

5.7 Academic and Research Institutes.

5.7.1 About

5.7.2 Review of the Work of Academic/ Research Institutes

5.8 Non-Government Organisations

5.8.1 Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)

5.8.2 The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

5.8.3 Clean Air Initiative – Asia (CAI- Asia)

5.8.4 Development Alternatives (DA)

5.8.5 Other NGOs

5.8.6 Review of NGOs

5.9 International Agencies and Bilateral Organisations

5.9.1 World Health Organisation (WHO)

5.9.2 Health Effects Institute (HEI)

5.9.3 World Bank (WB)

5.9.4 United States Environment Protection Agency (US EPA)

5.9.5 Global Environment Facility (GEF)

5.9.6 Advisory Services in Environmental Management (ASEM)

5.9.7 Other International organisations working in this domain.

5.9.8 Review of the role of International/Bilateral Organisations.

5.10 Media Stakeholders

5.10.2 CMS ENVIS Centre

5.10.3 Other Important Media Stakeholders.

5.10.4 Review of the role of Media

5.11 Website.

5.11.1 IFMR pollution map.

5.11.2 UrbanEmissions .Info.

5.12 India Inc. Stakeholders.

5.12.1 About

5.12.2 Review of the work by India Inc.


6.1 Recommendations

6.2 Proposed Air Quality Management Framework for India

6.3 Limitations



8.1 Annexure I: National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) (Revised in 1994 & 1998)

8.2 Annexure II: National Ambient Air Quality Standards (Revised in 2009)




Air pollution has been a major source of concern for India, a developing economy, which is struggling to strike a balance between development on one hand and environment protection on the other. To this effect, India recognises the fundamentals of sustainable development as the cornerstone for sustained economic progress of a nation and is working towards addressing the all important issue of air quality management. This report is the first ever attempt to provide an in depth analysis of the air quality management framework of India. This report undertakes a comprehensive review of all the stakeholders, directly or indirectly affecting the system and identifies potential areas of improvements for a robust air quality management framework for the country. The ultimate aim of this report is to design a lean and robust air quality management framework for India which will help India achieve its mission of better air quality.

1.1 Sources of air pollution in India

In India, outdoor air pollution is restricted mostly to urban areas, where automobiles are the primary contributors, followed by pollution in industries and thermal power plants. Apart from rapid industrialization, urbanization has resulted in the emergence of industrial centres without a corresponding growth in regulatory capacity and pollution control mechanisms in the country. The high influx of population to urban areas, increase in consumption patterns, and unplanned urban and industrial development has further aggravated the problem of air pollution. Sources of air pollution in India can be primarily categorized under the following three headings:

1.         Vehicles
2.         Industries
3.         Domestic sources

1.1.1 Vehicular Pollution

Vehicular pollution is one of the most significant sources for increase in the emission load of various pollutants into the atmosphere. Following are identified to be the main factors leading to increased vehicular pollution:
1.         Poor vehicle design
2.         Old vehicles
3.         Inferior fuel quality and fuel adulteration
4.         Inadequate mass rapid public transport infrastructure
5.         Inefficient travel demand, traffic management and capacity planning.
6.         Poor road and railway infrastructure
7.         Uncontrolled growth of vehicle population in urban sprawls
8.         Inadequate inspection and maintenance facility

1.1.2 Industrial Air Pollution

There are many reasons for increased industrial air pollution in the country. Listed below are few of the reasons responsible for increased emission from industrial sources:
1. Poor quality of fuel (coal, diesel, petrol, fuel oil)
2. Toxic and hazardous air pollutants emission from chemical industries (pesticides, dye and dye intermediate, pharmaceutical etc.) specially located in industrial states (Gujarat, Maharashtra, A.P. And Tamil Nadu)
3. Use of high ash coal for power generation
4. Inadequate pollution prevention and control system in small/ medium scale industry (S.M.S) (brick kiln, foundry, stone crusher etc.)
5. Poor compliance of standard in small/ medium scale industry
6. Large number of polluting diesel ‘Gensets’ operating in commercial area

1.1.3 Domestic Sources of Air Pollution

Mainly four different types of cooking fuels are used in this country: biomass fuel (Wood, cow – dung cake, agricultural waste, coal etc.); liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); kerosene and a mixture of these. The primary source of indoor air pollution from domestic sources is through burning of biomass for cooking. Liquid and gaseous fuels such as kerosene and bottled gas, although not completely pollution-free, are many times less polluting than these unprocessed solid fuels.  Burning such fuels produces large amounts of smoke and other air pollutants in the confined space of the home a perfect recipe for high exposures. About 95% of the rural population in India still relies primarily on biomass fuels (dung, crop residues, and wood)[2] (Smith, 2000). It is the burning of these fuels which leads to indoor air pollution. It has been estimated that about half a million women and children die each year from indoor air pollution in India.[3](Smith, 2000)


1.2 Regulatory Approach towards Control of Pollution

India has been following the ‘Command and Control’ (CAC) approach for constraining polluting activities from each source by setting uniform standards for technologies, processes and emissions. By enforcing standards and regulating the emissions, the government seeks to abate pollution, while this approach is effective to keep the pollution under control; however, it doesn’t provide any incentive for the polluter to stop polluting. It has been observed through several empirical studies that CAC approach is sub-optimal as it doesn’t account for social costs in entirety i.e. they do not in general yield optimal pollution-abatement outcomes which equate the social marginal benefit of abatement with its social marginal cost (Sajal Ghosh) [4]

A number of economic instruments have been introduced to internalize the external costs of pollution, make the polluter pay, and at the same time minimize the cost of a given level of abatement under given conditions with regard to production and abatement costs. Tradable permits, emission and effluent charges, subsidies for competitive outputs, and sustainable environment friendly inputs are all examples of ‘economic instruments’, combination of which along with taxes not only generate revenue but also provide incentives for environmental improvements. India is looking forward to formulate the suitable combination of these instruments to both penalize the polluter and incentivize pollution abatement.

1.3 Air Quality Management in India – An Overview

Air, being a public good, has numerous stakeholders which form part of its quality management framework. Due to its public character, air is also subject to a number of negative externalities or the ‘free rider effect’, as it is both non-exclusive and non-rivalrous to all. It is for this reason its protection is vital and a framework for its management quintessential. The air quality management framework germinated with the enactment of The Air (Prevention and Control) Act 1981 and The Environment (Protection) Act 1986, which were enacted for safeguarding the environment. The scope for development of this framework was provided in both these acts. Ever since, the ‘Air Quality Management Framework in India’ has been constantly evolving.

The intent of the sovereign to tackle air pollution with both hands is clearly underlined in the twelfth plan approach paper of the planning commission, which states that “continuous improvement in ambient air quality must be achieved through regulatory control over emissions, increasing awareness about civic liability, using state-of-the-art technology and global best practices so as to achieve the standard set by the National Ambient Air Quality, by the end of the Twelfth Plan. Policy intervention should facilitate industrial symbiosis with respect to environmental pollution based on the principle ‘polluter must pay’”.

Air pollution if not controlled, is all set to become the most daunting environmental challenge yet to be faced by India, given its poor air quality management framework. In proof of the statement above, Environmental Performance Index[5] 2012 ranking of countries, conducted by environmental research centers at Yale and Columbia University, ranked India last in the indicator on ‘Air (effects on human health)’.The dismal result of India in this ranking suggests the prevalent toxic air conditions in India which will lead to future health implications. The World Health Organization has found that due to the poor air quality, ‘Acute Respiratory Infections’ were one of the most common causes of deaths in children under 5 in India, and contributed to 13% of in-patient deaths in paediatric wards in India.[6]

This situation re-emphasises the pressing need to counter the detrimental effects of air pollution by strengthening the incompetent air quality management framework in the country.

AQM aims to maintain the quality of the air that protects human health and welfare but also provides protection of animals, plants (crops, forests, natural vegetation), ecosystems, materials and aesthetics, such as natural levels of visibility.  AQM is a tool which enables governmental authorities to set objectives to achieve and maintain clean air and reduce the impacts on human health and the environment. Governmental authorities, in collaboration with other stakeholders, can determine the individual steps of the implementation of this process according to:
1. local circumstances with respect to background concentrations of air  pollutants and technological feasibility;
2. cultural and social conditions; and
3. financial and human resources available.

An effective AQM strategy is dependent on a number of factors. These include emission inventories, air quality monitoring networks, air quality prediction models, exposure and damage assessments, as well as health and environment based standards. Along with these factors are a range of cost-effective pollution control measures and the legislative powers and resources to implement and enforce them.

In the wake of long term health impacts of air pollution, India’s intent has been to enhance its scale and scope in the field of air quality monitoring and planning; its capacity to monitor and assess the problem of air pollution remains abysmally weak, which impedes nationwide planning and action. The monitoring data available provides a very fragmented picture of the status of air quality in our cities. On a nationwide scale, very few criteria pollutants are monitored on a regular basis, making risk assessment difficult. The planners and the policy makers in India do not have a complete understanding of the whole range of local situations to assess the exposure levels. Therefore, poor data quality, weak institutional capacity to assess pollution sources and the absence of an effective legal framework for air quality management are the reasons for ad hoc and fragmented planning.

The ambient air comprises various particulates and gaseous pollutants, such as NOx, SOX, CO, Ozone, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) and a variety of other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), some of which could be severely detrimental to health of humans, plants and animals.

According to the CSE Report on ‘Managing Air Quality’, the overriding concern for India today is the very high levels of particulate matter (PM) of different size fraction, coming from various sources. A joint report of World Health Organization’s (WHO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) among others called Air Pollution in Megacities of Asia, 2002, shows that since 1990, there has been a consistent increase in PM10 levels across the Asian region, which shows a distinct regional pattern. The Boston-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) reports that annual mean PM10 levels tend to be higher in lower-income south Asian — mainly Indian — cities compared to middle or high-income Asian cities, including Bangkok, Busan, Hong Kong and Seoul.

The effects of inhaling particulate matter that have been widely observed in humans and animals include asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular issues, birth defects, and premature death. The size of the particle is a main determinant of where in the respiratory tract the particle will come to rest when inhaled. Because of their small size, particles on the order of ~10 micrometers or less (PM10) can penetrate the deepest part of the lungs such as the bronchioles or alveoli. Larger particles are generally filtered in the nose and throat via cilia and mucus, but particulate matter smaller than about 10 micrometers, referred to as PM10, can settle in the bronchi and lungs and cause other health problems. The health risk assessment of the various pollutants is an important research topic which still needs to be studied in detail.

Therefore, it has become important to reinforce the air quality monitoring framework in cities to assess the risk of air pollution, to formulate appropriate policies to control it and to create awareness and sensitise people towards the health implications of this grave issue.

In the past, there have been several researches to strengthen the environmental framework and address the issue of air pollution by conducting monitoring studies, source apportionment studies, emission inventories, reviewing the ambient air standards, dispersion modeling, health impact studies, pollution control strategy study, etc. However, there exists no research study which identifies all the stakeholders of air quality management in the country, provides a holistic review of these stakeholders – their initiatives and roles in the system, identifies gaps and existing inter-linkages between the various government and non- government actors and recommends future course of action for improvement of the framework on air pollution control in the country. This research paper addresses all the above stated issues to formulate a comprehensive commentary on the consolidated present day air quality management framework of the country and proposes a lean AQM framework for the country.


1. To prepare a comprehensive inventory of stakeholder organisations , directly or indirectly involved with air quality management in India
2. To study the activity domain of various organisations and identify existing overlaps and inter-linkages
3. To review the present framework and provide recommendations for all the stakeholders
4. To recommend a lean air quality management framework based on the review


Analysing the AQM policy framework of the country required an in depth study of all the government and non-government actor-stakeholders of the system. To gauge government’s orientation towards the issue of air quality management, an extensive scrutiny of the 11th five year plan, planning commission’s approach paper for 12th year plan, recommendation report on environment for 12th plan was carried out. Subsequent to which, CPCB’s Annual Report 2011 was analysed. ‘National summary report on air quality monitoring, emission inventory and source apportionment study for Indian cities’ produced by CPCB was studied to understand the current state of affairs of the emission inventory regime in Indian context.

Further, to understand the AQM framework in the country, the CAI-ASIA’s report on air quality in India, CAI- Asia and ADB Report on Urban Air Management were reviewed thoroughly. This report provided a bird’s eye view of the system prevalent in the country. To understand the civil society perspective on this contentious issue, report by CSE-‘Managing Air’ was read. Health Effect Institute’s report on Public Health and Air Pollution in Asia (PAPA) project, which aims to understand the short term exposure to air pollution and daily mortality in two Indian cities, was also synthesized to gauge the health risks associated with air pollution.

To better understand the policy, institutional and regulatory framework of the AQM in India various reports was analysed. Report on ‘Evaluation of CPCB by IIM Lucknow February 2010’, critically analysed the functioning and structure of CPCB. It identified various institutional capacity as a big restraint in the functioning of the regulatory body. Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment & Forests (Rajya Sabha Committee), 192nd report on functioning of central pollution control board. The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament’s 57th report tabled on April 27th 2012 in the Lok Sabha was also studied to understand the review of MoEF’s functioning by the committee.

Based on the above literature review and assessment – analysis, conclusions and recommendations were made for making the AQM framework more robust and a lean framework was proposed.


To comprehensively analyse the present-day framework of air quality management in India, various stakeholder groups were identified, on the basis of their contribution to the AQM in the country. Subsequently, organisations in these stakeholder groups were selected on the basis of the prominence of their impact on the framework of the country. The initiatives of these organisations in the domain of AQM were listed, while identifying their roles, inter-linkages and areas of overlap in the system. An exhaustive review of the organisations and stakeholder groups was carried out. The critiqued assessment provided the basis for conclusions and recommendations of the report.

Various reports in relation to air quality management, produced by government and non-government actors were accessed and analysed. Information on public domain was assessed for all the stakeholders, to understand their roles, identify existing overlaps and prepare a comprehensive commentary on their initiatives, through the medium of ‘world wide web’. Air quality experts at TERI University were also consulted personally for their expert knowledge in this domain. Based on the information collected above, feedback for a lean air quality management framework for India was formulated.


5.1 Stakeholder mapping of the Air Quality Management Framework

Stakeholders were mapped in groups according to their profiles and roles played in this sector. Given below is a brief description of the categorized clusters:

1. Judiciary: Judiciary forms an all-important organ of the AQM framework. It ensures that both the executive and legislative bodies perform their roles as expected. It is empowered to provide justice in times of conflict while safeguarding the interest of the environment and the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country at large.

Judicial stakeholders in AQM in India comprise- The Supreme Court, High Courts, District Courts, National Green Tribunal, and National Environment Tribunal.

2. Ministries Involved Directly: These Ministries are the most prominent stakeholders of the AQM India framework. They are directly responsible in the decision making process for forming policy mandates in this domain. They undertake communications within themselves for formulating standards for air pollution control and thereby impact the system substantially. Ministry stakeholders directly involved comprise – MoEF, MoES, MoSRTH, MoH&FW, MoS&T, MoP and MoPNG

3. Ministries Involved Indirectly: These Ministries as not as significant in impacting the framework as the ones listed above. However, they supplement the work of the ministries directly involved in the decision making and impact the decision making indirectly. Ministry stakeholders indirectly involved comprise – MoUD , MoCI , MoC, MoF, MoHIP, MoM, and MNRE

4. Government Agencies Involved Directly: Prominent executive bodies performing the role of regulators/policy planners for air pollution prevention, prevalent in both the centre and the state were identified. These agencies play an active role in AQM in India. Stakeholders identified under this domain are – CPCB, SPCBs/PCCs, Planning Commission, EPCA, IMD, State Environment and Forest Departments

5. Government Agencies Involved Indirectly:  These executive agencies assist in air pollution prevention in an indirect way. Stakeholders identified under this domain are – BEE, PPAC, TIFAC, and Municipal Corporations

6. Academic and Research Institutes: These comprise institutes which enrich the AQM framework through their specialised research knowledge in technical, health and policy related fields in relation to Air Quality/Air Pollution.

7. Non-Governmental Organisations: Various Non-Government Organisations and civil society organisations have contributed to the evolution of the air quality management framework of India. These NGOs have been engaged actively in policy advocacy and community engagement/outreach and campaigns development in this field. Their presence strengthens the network to a large extent.

8. Media Houses: Several media organisations have undertaken responsibility on engaging in environmental issues which impact the society at large. The communication outreach efforts by these organisations are concerted to this end.

9. Associations: The associations are representatives of a consortium of enterprises/industries/individuals working towards a common developmental cause. The voice of the associations is powerful as it speaks for a large representative sample of people. Associations play a pronounced role in the AQM framework of India. Stakeholders identified in this cluster are – IAAPC, SIAM, FICCI,  CII, ASSOCHAM, PCIA, PALS

10. International Agencies / Bilateral Organisations: Various international organisations, bilateral agencies, etc actively engage in aiding the development of AQM framework in the country. They provide resources such as financial aid, technical expertise, etc to assist India towards sustainable development.

11. India Inclusive (India Inc.): Indian, Multinational private corporate organisations and publically owned Private Sector Undertakings (PSUs) together comprise the India Inc. These stakeholders contribute immensely to the growth of the country in terms of adding to India’s GDP. However, being responsible corporate citizens, they do take steps to promote better air quality as a part of their environment protection mandate or as a part of their corporate social responsibility exercise. A few of these prominent stakeholders working on preventing and abating pollution have been identified as follows-  3M, Suzlon, Bayer Crop Science, Bharat Forge, HPCL, NTPC, Shree Cements, Tata Motors, Reliance Industries , Escorts Group, Shell, Hira Group, SAIL, Jindal Steel, IOCL Ltd.

12. Websites: There are many websites promoting ways to reduce or monitor air pollution. However, we identified two such websites which are aiding development in AQM in India, namely – and IFMR sponsored

These stakeholder groups provide a holistic understanding of the Air Quality Management framework of the country. Figure 1.2 depicts this stakeholder mapping in a diagrammatic format.

5.2 Environmental Pollution Prevention Laws in India

 A comprehensive list of all environmental laws concerning pollution abatement and environment protection in the country, along with their short descriptions are as follows:

 Indian Penal Code 1860: Chapter XIV of Indian Penal Code containing Sections 268 to 290 deals with offences affecting the public health, safety, convenience, decency and morals. Its objective is to safeguard the public health, safety and convenience by causing those acts punishable which make environment polluted or threaten the life of the people.

 The Factories Act 1948 (Amendment in 1987): The Act was the first to express concern for the working environment of the workers. The amendment of 1987 has sharpened its environmental focus and expanded its application to hazardous processes.

 The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974: Article 252 of the Act provided for the establishment of Pollution Control Boards in the Centre and at the State levels. Under Section 3 of the Act, Central Board for the Prevention and Control of Pollution was instituted for promoting cleanliness of streams and wells in the different areas of the States.

 The Water (Pollution Prevention and Control) Cess Act 1977: The Act was adopted by the parliament to provide funds for the Central & State Pollution Control Boards.  The Act empowers the Central Government to impose a Cess on water consumed by industries listed in Schedule-I of the Act.

 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981: The Act provides for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution including noise pollution and to establish Pollution Control Boards at the state level for this purpose. It entrusts the power of enforcing this act to the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board).

 The Environment (Protection) Act 1986: This an umbrella Act which authorizes the central government to set standards to protect and improve environmental quality, control and reduce pollution from all sources, and prohibit or restrict the setting and /or operation of any industrial facility on environmental grounds. It also confers enforcement agency with necessary punitive powers to restrict any activity detrimental to environment

 The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 (Amendment in 2000): The Act sets standards for anti-pollution control devices. It also  permits  the  use  of  eco-friendly  fuel  including  Liquefied  Petroleum  Gas  (LPG) in vehicles.

 The Public Liability Insurance Act 1991: The Act provides for public liability insurance for the purpose of providing immediate relief to the persons affected by accident occurring while handling any hazardous substance and for matters connected therewith.

 The National Environmental Tribunal Act 1995:  This Act has been created to award compensation for damages to persons, property, and the environment arising from any activity involving hazardous substances.

 The National Environment Appellate Authority Act 1997: The NEAA (National Environment Appellate Authority) has been created to hear appeals with respect to restrictions of areas in which classes of industries etc. are carried out or prescribed subject to certain safeguards under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.

 The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) 2000: Under this Act, rules have been laid down for the regulation of production and consumption of ozone depleting substances.

The National Green Tribunal Act 2010: Under this Act, National Green Tribunal was instituted on 18th October, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues. The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but is guided by principles of natural justice.


5.3 Stakeholder – Indian Judiciary

India’s unitary judicial system is made up of the Supreme Court of India at the national level, for the entire country and the 21 High Courts at the State level. These courts have jurisdiction over a state, a union territory or a group of states and union territories. Below the High Courts are a hierarchy of subordinate courts such as the civil courts, family courts, criminal courts and various other district courts[7]. The Supreme Court, High Courts, District Courts, National Green Tribunal and National Environment Tribunal, are all a part of the Judicial framework in India, for safeguarding the natural environment and protecting the human well-being associated with it.

Curbing environmental pollution has been one of most compelling concerns of countries across the globe. India recognises this grave concern and seeks to protect and preserve the environment from pollution while ensuring that any such act of damage done be punishable under the law of the land.

To reaffirm its commitment towards environment protection, India was party to ‘The 1972 Stockholm Declaration’ which placed the contentious issue of environment protection, promotion and conservation on the official agenda of international policy and law. India, being one of the participants and signatories to this conference, undertook the following steps in the direction of the protection and promotion of environment in order to comply with the resolution and principles of the Stockholm Conference:

1. Constitution 42nd Amendment Act, 1976
2. Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
3. Air (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1981
4. Environment Protection Act, 1986

5.3.1 The role of Judiciary in Environment Protection

 The constitution of the country empowers the judiciary to resolve disputes/conflicts, affirm that the laws enacted are in conformity with the constitutional provisions and ensure satisfactory implementation and compliance to the laws enacted by the legislature by both the executive and the public at large.  The role of judiciary in India has become more pronounced in the recent past in resolving environmental disputes, as there have been numerous instances of claims and counter-claims over the contentious issue of management of natural resources which have led to judicial interventions in the environmental domain. The incompetence of the state agencies and their rather laggard decision making process have forced the civil society and citizens at large to approach the courts for suitable remedies regarding their grievances on environmental matters. Therefore, the judiciary in the country plays a very important role in environmental governance process.

5.3.2 Supreme Court’s intervention in improving the air quality in Delhi: A case study [8]

 The Supreme Court’s involvement in policies to curb air pollution in Delhi began with public interest litigation brought to the court by M.C. Mehta in the form of a petition no. 13029 filed December 17, 1985. Concerned about rising levels of air pollution and the government’s apparent lack of interest in dealing with this growing problem, Mehta asked the court to direct various government ministries and departments to implement the Air Act of 1981 in Delhi.

In 1986, in response to Mehta’s petition, the Supreme Court directed the Delhi administration to file an affidavit specifying the steps it had taken to reduce air pollution. As a result of the court’s involvement, the Delhi administration and the central government started to pay attention to the problem of air pollution. After Mehta’s petition to the court, several new environmental laws were enacted, as were policies to curtail tailpipe emissions from vehicles and to move polluting industries from Delhi. However, these policies were rarely implemented, and those that were can be characterized as largely piecemeal. There was no evidence of a comprehensive plan to tackle the growing problem of air pollution.

In early 1991, responding to the ever growing pollution concerns, the court asked MoEF to set up the first of what turned out to be three statutorily based authorities charged with the responsibility of devising policies to curb air pollution in Delhi. But the court was also motivated by its own recognition that the matters before it were highly technical, and therefore beyond its area of expertise. The court needed a group of experts to assess the issues and advise it.

The first of these committees was constituted in March. The court explained its purpose in an extended judgment dated March 14, 1991.  This committee came to be known as the Saikia Committee, after its chairman, former Justice K.N. Saikia, who had recently retired from the Supreme Court. Other members of the committee were M.C. Mehta, N.S. Tiwana (then-chairman, CPCB), and S. Girdharlal (representative of the Association of Indian Automobile Manufacturers). The court directed the committee to (i) assess technologies available for vehicular pollution control elsewhere in the world and in India; (ii) assess low-cost alternatives for operating vehicles at reduced pollution levels in Indian metropolitan areas and make specific recommendations on the administrative and legal regulations required for implementing these alternatives; and (iii) make recommendations on how vehicular pollution could be reduced in both the near term and the long run.

One of the Saikia Committee’s first recommendations was to phase out leaded petrol in Delhi by April 1, 1992 (Saikia Committee on Vehicular Pollution, 1991). The committee also recommended the use of CNG as an alternative vehicular fuel for three reasons: it polluted less, cost less, and was more widely available in the country than petrol or diesel.

In September 1994, Parliament passed the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act to promote the use of alternative fuels, such as batteries, solar power, and CNG. Motorists using these alternative fuels were not required to obtain permits from the state transport authorities and, for a specified period, were allowed to determine their own freight, fares, and hours of operation.

On the recommendation of the Saikia Committee, on August 12, 1994, the Supreme Court mandated the phase-out of leaded fuel in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, and Madras by April 1995 and for the entire country by April 2000 (court order, October 21, 1994). The deadline to supply unleaded petrol in Delhi was met on time. During this period the Supreme Court also ordered that the sulphur content in diesel supplied in Delhi be reduced from 1% to 0.5% by April 1, 1996, and to 0.25% by April 1, 1998 (Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, 2001). This was the first time that the Supreme Court issued fuel quality specifications. Starting in 1996, the Supreme Court began to act to force the government to implement its relocation policies for large and heavy polluting industries from Delhi.

The city’s air quality nevertheless continued to deteriorate, and on November 8, 1996, the Supreme Court issued a suo moto notice to the Delhi government to submit an action plan to control the city’s air pollution (Agarwal et al., 1996). In 1996 and 1997, in response to direct orders of the Supreme Court, both the Delhi government and the central government finally developed action plans to curtail pollution in Delhi. These were the first comprehensive policies on air pollution control.

The Delhi government responded to pressure from the Supreme Court and in October 1997 developed a policy to phase out old vehicles and encourage the use of CNG. But with elections looming, it withdrew this policy on February 4, 1998. Once again the Supreme Court stepped in and forced the Delhi government to act on the policy it had announced. On December 3, 1997, MoEF issued the ‘White Paper on Pollution in Delhi with an Action Plan’ (Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 1997).

On January 7, 1998, soon after the release of the white paper, the Supreme Court directed the central government to set up the third of the statutory committees established under Section 3(3) of the Environment Protection Act. This was called the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). According to Harish Salve, who acted as amicus curiae to advise the court in the Delhi litigation, EPCA was set up directly in response to government complaints that the Supreme Court was exceeding its authority and making policy decisions in place of the government.

EPCA was asked to monitor the progress of the white paper, develop new policies to curb vehicular air pollution, and serve as a fact-finding body for the court. EPCA believed that more drastic measures were needed to reduce pollution, including the use of CNG, and that the conversion of buses, taxis, and autos could take place without significant additional cost to vehicle owners. It suggested that any additional costs could be met through state subsidies.

EPCA’s plan was converted into a mandate by the Supreme Court in its order dated July 28, 1998. As a direct result of this order, over the course of the next four years, the commercial vehicles of Delhi were gradually converted to CNG. Progress was uneven for a variety of reasons, including the availability of CNG fuelling stations, parts, and buses, and the reluctance of various key players at critical points. There were rough patches. When bus operators who had failed to order CNG buses or convert to CNG were not allowed to operate, the public expressed its concern through strikes and protests. And various high-level commissions and committees made last-minute efforts to head off the Supreme Court’s orders. The court refused to reconsider its basic decision, however, and as a result had to referee such issues as which sectors had priority access to CNG supplies in case of shortages. Non-complying diesel buses were subject to fines, and by December 2002, all diesel city buses converted to CNG.

In hindsight, The Supreme Court proved itself to be sufficiently above the day-to-day pressure of politics that it could stand firm on the remedies recommended to it by EPCA, and at the same time it made some reasonable, short-term adjustments to adapt to various realities during the difficult transition to CNG. This combination of steadfastness and adaptability helped ease a complicated political and economic shift. Therefore, the court’s important contribution was to push the government in two significant ways: to implement existing policies and to develop new policies to deal with air pollution which led to a stark positive difference in Delhi’s air quality.

5.3.3 Review of the role of the judiciary in environment matters[9]

While understanding the role of judiciary in environmental governance, scholars have concentrated on judicial review power and thereby attributed judicial intervention to the failure of other organs in performing their conventional duties (Pal 1997; Thakur, 1997, Ramesh, 2002). They argue that the intervention of the judiciary in environmental governance is a part of the constitutional duties of the Court to uphold the rule of law, enforcement of individual rights and protecting the propriety of the Constitution. The interventions have been largely confined to removing structural impediments to the implementation of environmental laws, which has provided a space for judicial intervention in environment protection. In such circumstances, the Courts have assumed the affirmative executive powers of issuing directions, appointing commissions, collecting and verifying information, monitoring and supervising the running of public institutions to discharge their Constitutional obligations for the protection and improvement of environment. The relaxation of the locus standi principle and encouraging petitioners to bring environmental litigation by the apex court has been hailed as one of the most important factors for the evolution of environmental jurisprudence in India (Deshpande, 1992; Sathe, 1999; Jariwala, 2000; Desai and Muralidhar, 2001).

Of late however, this process of Judicial intervention in environmental governance has been see as a violation of the principle of separation of power and against the spirit of democracy. By usurping the role of existing agencies and directing policies through its orders it has been argued that the Court risks making decisions that may not be the most efficient solutions to the cases that come before it. The most important criticism against the judicial intervention in environmental litigation has been its failure to ensure the implementation of its directions which has been viewed as a kind of challenge to the legitimacy of judicial intervention (Dembowski , 1999; Desai and Murlidhar 2001).

The most important positive implication of allowing the third party (NGOs or public spirited people) to appeal before the court on behalf of the affected party due to environmental degradation. It is the Court’s attempt to bring justice to the door step of the common man, for whom recourse is a costly exercise.

In summary, the intervention of judiciary in resolving environmental disputes has led to evolution of several new principles in the environmental governance process. The innovative methods such as entertaining post cards as litigation, allowing third party to file petition, spot visit, taking suo motu action against the polluter, deciding compensation both for environment and affected party, applying international environmental principles to domestic environmental problems have widened the scope for justice and recognition of the values of the environment and awareness among people about their environmental rights and duties. However, most of these methods have neither been followed consistently nor institutionalized to make a long term impact on environmental governance process. The Court must institutionalize the methods in the form of guidelines to ensure consistency and predictability in the remediation process. Also, the court must safeguard against judicial activism turning into judicial adventurism and therefore, must be cautious of the implications of interfering in the affairs of the other organs of the state.


5.4 Stakeholder- Ministries Involved

5.4.1 Ministries involved directly in the Air Quality Management framework Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF)

The Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) is the nodal agency in the administrative structure of the Central Government for the planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of India’s environmental and forestry policies and programmes. The primary concerns of the Ministry are implementation of policies and programmes relating to conservation of the country’s natural resources including its lakes and rivers, its biodiversity, forests and wildlife, ensuring the welfare of animals, and the prevention and abatement of pollution. While implementing these policies and programmes, the Ministry is guided by the principle of sustainable development and enhancement of human well-being. Ministry formulates policies and enacts legislation at the national level. Apart from headquarter at New Delhi there are six regional offices at Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Shillong, Bhopal, Chandigarh and Lucknow.

The Ministry of Environment Forests (MoEF) has adopted a comprehensive National Environmental Policy (NEP) 2006, based on overarching guiding principles that include among others right to development, environmental protection as an integral part of the development process, environmental standards setting, the precautionary principle and polluter pay principle, preventive action, economic efficiency, and equity. For abatement of pollution in general and air quality management in particular, various actions have been suggested which inter-alia include an integrated approach to strengthening of monitoring and enforcement of emissions standards for both point and non point sources, preparation of action plans for cities to address air pollution, promotion of R&D, formulation of national strategy for urban transport and energy conservation.[10] The Ministry co-ordinates with other key ministries to formulate regulatory framework for air pollution control under The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and The Environment (protection) Act, 1986. CPCB essentially works under the aegis of MoEF.

The Ministry also serves as the nodal agency in the country for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and for the follow-up of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The Ministry is also entrusted with issues relating to multilateral bodies such as the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and of regional bodies like Economic and Social Council for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) and South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) on matters pertaining to the environment.

The Ministry takes responsibility for the following international treaties/declarations/conferences which deal with environmental pollution, to which India is already a signatory member:

1. Agenda 21
2. The Stockholm Declaration 1972
3. United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
4. Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (MARPOL) (London, 1978)
5. Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer(Vienna, 1985)
6. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal, 1987)
7. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Rio de Janeiro, 1992)
8. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
9. Helsinki Protocol to LRTAP (Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution) on the Reduction of Sulphur Emissions or their Transboundary Fluxes by at least 30 percent
10. Sofia Protocol to LRTAP(Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution) concerning the Control of Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides or their Transboundary Fluxes (NOx Protocol)
11. Geneva Protocol to LRTAP(Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution) concerning the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds or their Transboundary Fluxes (VOCs Protocol)
12. Male Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and its likely trans-boundary effects for South Asia under the SASEP ( South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme)

During the XIth Plan, an outlay of Rs. 235 crore was planned for pollution abatement out of the total allocation of Rs. 10000 crore for MoEF’s planned body of work for the duration of 2007-2012[11]. Initiatives and projects undertaken by the Ministry for Air Quality Management

The Ministry has undertaken various initiatives/projects and environment protection authorities for encouraging pollution abatement across sectors, for the country as a whole. Listed below are the most prominent initiatives undertaken by MoEF in this field:

1. Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006: The Ministry mandates environmental clearance as a mandatory obligation for various developmental activities undertaken in the country. Air pollution is one of the prominent agendas on the EIA notification; the clearance certification for which can only be obtained by the CPCB/SPCBs.

2. Corporate Responsibility for Environmental Protection (CREP): MoEF launched the charter on CREP in March 2003 with the purpose to go beyond the compliance of regulatory norms for prevention & control of pollution through various measures including waste minimization, in-plant process control & adoption of clean technologies

3. Capacity Building For Industrial Pollution Management: The project is also expected to build the technical capacity of select SPCBs for undertaking environmentally sound remediation of polluted sites

4. National Award for Prevention of Pollution – This award was instituted in 1992 and is given to 18 large scale industrial units and 5 small scale industrial units annually for meeting pollution prevention goals and taking substantial and consistent steps for environmental improvement. The award consists of a trophy, a citation and Rs. 100000 each.

5. Pilot Emission Trading Scheme(ETS): The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has initiated a pilot emission trading scheme in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu in the hope that these states may begin to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). It is based on the cap-and-trade market mechanism.[12]

6. Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) for estimation of pollution load for Industrial Clusters[13] : CEPI is a rational number to characterize the environmental quality at a given location which captures the various health dimensions of environment including air, water and land. Industrial Pollution Abatement through preventive strategies

7. Industrial Pollution Abatement through Promotion of Clean Technology and Preventive Strategies: This scheme is an amalgamation of the three on-going schemes viz. Environmental Audit, Adoption of Clean Technologies in Small Scale Industries and Environmental Statistics and Mapping, which have been continuing since eighth Five Year Plan.

8. Environmental Management in Heritage Pilgrimage and Tourist Centres including the Taj Protection: The objective of the scheme is to prevent environmental degradation of the area of heritage or pilgrimage importance through proper management and to implement schemes relating to protection of Taj Mahal. In the first phase of Taj protection, 10 projects with a total cost of Rs. 221.21 crore were approved. The scheme was kept on hold pending its independent appraisal during the 11th Plan. The Ministry has accepted the post evaluation report of NEERI, Nagpur. In order to revive the scheme in 12th Plan, the U.P Government has been requested to prepare a Comprehensive Environment Management Plan (EMP) to be integrated with various sectoral projects on the lines of EMP drawn by NEERI in their post evaluation report.

9. Common Effluent Treatment Plan: The objective of this scheme is to provide financial assistance to the small scale industries in clusters to establish/upgrade Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) for enabling them to comply with environmental discharge standards.

10. National Green Tribunal (NGT): The tribunal is for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.

11. Establishment of Environment Protection Authorities

I. Loss of Ecology (Prevention and Payment of Compensation) Authority for the State of Tamil Nadu to deal with pollution created by the tanneries and other polluting industries in Tamil Nadu
II. Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) for the National Capital Region for compliance relating to environmental standards, emission or discharge of pollutants, steps to control vehicular pollution, restriction of industries etc.

12. Funding Research: The Ministry funds research in multi-disciplinary aspects of pollution environment ecosystems protection, conservation and management at various universities, institutions of higher learning, national research institutes and non-governmental organizations in identified thrust areas under its Research & Development (R&D) Programme. The objective of the scheme is to generate information required to develop strategies, technologies and methodologies for better environmental management. It also aims at attempting solutions to the practical problems of resource management, conservation of natural resources and eco-regeneration of degraded areas. Further, the scheme also seeks to strengthen infrastructure to facilitate research and scientific manpower development. In order to achieve these objectives, research grants are provided in the identified thrust areas to various organizations (universities, colleges recognized by UGC, institutions of CSIR, ICAR, ICMR, ICSSR and recognized non- governmental scientific organizations) all over the country.The research guidelines were revised by the Ministry in 2006, supporting research in Environment which inter-alia includes thrust areas of research and their prioritization.

13.  New Initiatives: Recent new initiatives taken up by the Ministry include Institution of – National Environmental Sciences Fellows Programmes, institution of Mahatma Gandhi Chair for Ecology and Environment, collaborative Research Programme with CSIR, new Institutions – National Environment Protection Training & Research Institute (NEPTRI). Review of Ministry’s Work

1. MoEF plays a pivotal role in formulating policies for environment protection and pollution abatement. It is imperative for MoEF to address the issues of strengthening the present regulatory, enforcement and institutional mechanisms for a better air quality management framework in the country.

2. MoEF can fulfil these objectives by formulating a national strategy plan for air quality improvement while insisting the state governments to prepare a more localised district level air quality management strategy which is aligned with the national level strategy. These policy level interventions must be complimented by aiding the institutional agencies with necessary resources and skilled manpower to build their capacity.

3. A separate regulatory body should also be appointed to monitor the progress of these plans which must be empowered to take disciplinary actions when required. To this effect, the recommendations in the report of the sub-group for the 12th Plan on environment do propose creation of independent National Environmental Appraisal and Monitoring Agency (NEAMA) to be established. According to the report, NEAMA would be empowered set up a new process for environmental appraisal of projects, and will monitor the observance of environmental management plans. It is conceived to be a recommendatory body, subject to final decision-making by the Environment Minister. Establishing a toothless monitoring agency will be another mistake and add more perplexity to the system. SPCBs were entitled to perform similar functions of monitoring and appraisal but with no punitive powers vested in them to ensure stricter compliance and enforcement; these regulatory agencies have been fairly incompetent from their inception.

4. MoEF shoulders immense responsibility for co-ordinating with a host of other ministries like Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Ministry of Shipping, Road, Transport and Highways (MoSRTH), Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), Ministry of Power (MoP), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) to undertake a comprehensive air quality management programme in the country. This requires MoEF to structure a permanent inter-ministerial task force with representation from all the ministries for implementing fast track policy intervention mechanism.

5. The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament in its 57th report tabled on April 27th 2012 in the Lok Sabha, has identified serious deficiencies and inadequacies as pointed out by the C&AG (Comptroller and Auditor General) in the implementation of environmental programmes and in the functioning of various institutions working under the Ministry of Environment & Forests[14]. MoEF must address the concerns raised by the committee on the poor completion rate of projects under its various schemes by institutionalising policy reforms that strengthen the institutional framework of other associated agencies and improve communication channels within MoEF.

6. In order to ensure better monitoring of clearance conditions at field level, MoEF must review its functioning internally and increase the number of regional offices of MoEF.

7. To fast-track the clearance and consent management, adoption of IT-based management system will be a step forward.  To communicate the importance of environmental regulations and generate a wider acceptance of these norms, MoEF must plan a communications strategy to disseminate information and create awareness about these regulations amongst all stakeholders. [15]

8. Currently, even though we have the Air Act and the standards for air quality, there is no legal obligation on state governments / local municipal corporations to meet ambient air quality standards. This renders Air quality planning framework ineffective in India because ambient air quality standards are not legally enforceable. MoEF must ensure that NAAQS be given a legally enforceable status to empower the regulatory agencies and strengthen the framework.

9. While we are planning monitoring and control activities for abatement of air pollution in biggest cities, smaller cities are sooner than later going to grapple with the same critical pollution levels. Thus there is a greater need for MoEF to decentralize the responsibility down to the municipal / local and state levels.

10. Further, to achieve these targets all central programmes need to be re-organised under a National Air Quality Plan, the city based programmes under Clean Air Action Plan and programmes for industrial areas as Air Pollution Control and Prevention in Industrial Areas programmes. Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is mandated to provide the nation with best possible services in forecasting the monsoons and other weather/climate parameters, ocean state, earthquakes, tsunamis and other phenomena related to earth systems through well integrated programmes. Initiatives and projects taken by the ministry for Air Quality Management

The institutions under the Ministry dealing with Air Quality Management are as follows:

1. IMD (Indian Meteorological Department): It provides meteorological data, conducts and promotes research in meteorology and allied disciples. IMD provides assistance to the NAMP (National Air Quality Management Programme).

2. IITM (Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology), Pune: It is a premiere autonomous research Institute to generate scientific knowledge in the field of meteorology and atmospheric sciences that have potential application in various fields. It functions as a national centre for basic and applied research in monsoon meteorology. IITM Pune has a separate research programme on Air Pollution, Transport Modeling and Middle Atmospheric Climate to facilitate more research in this domain.

IITM Pune recently developed SAFAR (System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research), which is the first ever air quality forecasting system in India. SAFAR was first tested during the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi and it provides location specific information on Air Quality in near real time and its forecast 24 hours in advance. SAFAR is coupled with the weather forecasting system designed by IMD, New Delhi. The ultimate objective of developing SAFAR is to increase the awareness among general public regarding the air quality in their city well in advance so that appropriate mitigation action and systematic measures can be taken up for the betterment of air quality and related health issues. Review of Ministry’s Work

MoES is promoting scientific research in the country in the field of air quality monitoring, air pollution source apportionment studies, air quality modeling studies and other emission characterisation studies related to various pollutants.

SAFAR is a commendable initiative taken by IITM Pune, under the aegis of the MoES, to help India surge ahead in the field of air quality monitoring and forecasting research. This initiative will aid the air quality management framework in the country in a big way and is another step towards building a comprehensive air quality monitoring network throughout the country. This monitoring network when replicated to various parts of the country will guide the policy makers to formulate a suitable action plan for improving the air quality of the country.

MoES must work in collaboration with MoEF and MoST to build the capacity of IITM Pune to undertake SAFAR implementation to a pan-India level in the next 5-10 years. Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)

Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) promotes research and development studies in the domain of air quality management through the Department of Science and Technology. In this endeavour, it supports various projects at scientific research institutions like CSIR, CRRI, NEERI, IITM Pune, etc. Initiatives and projects taken by the ministry for Air Quality Management

The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) is a premier multidisciplinary R&D organization in India which is an autonomous body of the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research under the aegis of the Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India. It provides scientific, industrial research and development that maximises the economic, environmental and societal benefits for the people of India.

CRRI (Central Road Research Institute) is one of the constituent units of the CSIR. It is a premier national research organization for highways traffic and transport planning and all other allied aspects. It has a separate ‘Transport Planning and Environment Division’ which deals with research and development activities related to ‘Monitoring, Measurement, Modeling and Evaluation of Air Pollution due to Road & Road Transport’. It also provides consultancy on ‘Air Pollution & Exhaust Emission Monitoring and Dispersion Modeling’ and has conducted a study on ‘Urban Road Traffic and Air Pollution in Major Metropolitan Cities of India (URTRAP)’ in the year 2002.

NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) is another constituent unit of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). NEERI is a prominent stakeholder in the domain of air quality management in India and performs the following key activities as a part of its mandate:
1. Research and developmental studies in environmental science and engineering, environment policy, environment monitoring, etc
2. Advisory services to the central government, state government, judiciary and industries in solving the problems of environmental pollution by science and technology intervention

NEERI’S focus areas in the domain of air quality management are as follows:
1. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – VOCs, Monitoring, Health Impacts, Public Awareness and Training.
2. Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) – Urban AQ data-bank, inventorization, source apportionment analysis, analytical techniques, cost effective control, conservation of monuments.
3. Health – Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) analysis for delineation of genetic disturbances due to exposures of air pollutants.

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) monitors ambient air quality in 30 stations covering 10 major cities as a part of CPCB’s ambitious nationwide NAMP (National Air Quality Monitoring Programme)[16]. In the past, NEERI has carried out a training workshop on air pollution management and has carried out ‘Source Apportionment’ studies for various cities. Review of Ministry’s Work

MoST promotes research in the all encompassing discipline of environmental sciences. It promotes research which facilitates greater understanding about ambient air quality and its implications on the environment, human beings, crops, animals, etc. It provides both institutional grants for capacity building and individual project funding for research that could enhance India’s knowledge capital in this field. The Department of Science and Technology bears the onus of steering India in the direction of research and innovation in the field of air quality management. Ministry of Shipping, Road, Transport and Highways (MoSRTH)

The Ministry is an apex organisation under the Central Government, entrusted with the task of formulating and administering, in consultation with other Central Ministries/Departments, State Governments/UT Administrations, organisations and individuals, policies for Road Transport, National Highways and Transport Research with a view to increasing the mobility and efficiency of the road transport system in the country. Initiatives and projects taken by the ministry for Air Quality Management

It is the nodal agency for formulation and implementation of various provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and CMVR (Central Motor Vehicle Rules) 1989 and. The Standing Committee on Implementation of Emission Legislation (SCOE) deliberates the following issues related to implementation of emission regulation:
1. Discusses future emission norms
2. Recommends norms for in-use vehicles to MoSRTH
3. Finalise the test procedures and implementation strategy for emission norms
4. Advises MoSRTH on any issue relating to implementation of emission regulations.

Apart from MoSRTH, Ministries like MoEF, MoPNG and Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources are also involved in formulation of regulations relating to Emissions, Fuels and Alternative Fuel vehicles.
MoSRTH also organises workshop-cum-training programmes every year, two each at ARAI (Pune), and IIP (Dehradun), for officers of the State Transport Department to provide them with training regarding checking of vehicular pollution more scientifically and effectively. These are all efforts of the Ministry towards reducing air pollution. Review of the Ministry’s Work

Report of working group on road transport for the twelfth year plan (2012-17) suggests the following measures on improving fuel efficiency of vehicles which will essentially reduce vehicular emissions[17]:

1. Label individual vehicles on a kilometre per litre (kmpl) basis to enable consumers to make a rational choice.  This could be accompanied by either a star rating or a mention of the worst and best fuel efficiencies in that vehicle class.
2. Begin with labelling that is based on a continuous function of weight and fuel efficiency.
3. Define a minimum efficiency standard for the country’s vehicle fleet.

The report also suggests incentivising commercial vehicle owners to modernize their fleet which is older than 15 years. This initiative will ensure that the new fleet will be more fuel efficient and the emissions from it will also be less from the current levels.

Formulating tighter vehicle emission norms is the next step that the Ministry can take towards the mission to achieve the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ( MoH&FW)

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is the Indian government ministry charged with health policy in India. Initiatives and projects taken by the ministry for Air Quality Management

The Department of Health Research in the Ministry undertakes various research activities on studying the impact of air pollution on human health.  The department identifies both ‘Indoor Air Pollution’ and ‘Outdoor Air Pollution’ harmful to the public health.

The ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world. The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The ICMR has a division on non-communicable diseases which looks into air pollution impact on human health.

ICMR has set up a Center for Advanced Research in Environmental Health at Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai which undertakes research in this field to study the impacts of both indoor and outdoor air pollution on children and adults. The university is also the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Occupational Health.

The National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) has been actively engaged in occupational and environmental research for over 40 years.  Located in Ahmadabad, Gujarat in western India, NIOH is under the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.  NIOH is a WHO Collaborative Center on Occupational and Environmental Health, and it collaborates in research with international agencies including WHO, ILO, CDC, NIOSH and US EPA. NIOH is a regional centre/institute of the ICMR.

NIOH has a separate ‘Air Pollution Division’ through which they have undertaken research work on health related impacts of air pollution. A glimpse of their research work in this field is as follows:

1. Health risk assessment for rural and urban population due to ambient/indoor air pollution
2. Comparative epidemiological studies on effects of air pollutants
3. Air pollution due to vehicular traffic in designated cities / towns of the Gujarat state and evaluation of health status of school children studying nearby traffic junction in cities identified by the Hon’ble High Court. Review of Ministry’s Work

The Ministry must proactively engage in developing the research capabilities of its constituent institutions in carrying out health risk assessments on air pollution (indoor and outdoor). A comprehensive portfolio of the research work on health related impacts of air pollution must be developed in a planned manner. The research work is quintessential in not only determining the immediate health impacts but also to understand the future implications of constant exposure to polluted air. The Ministry must also ensure that all the research work is communicated through a comprehensive outreach programme to all the stakeholders of the system so that they can collectively engage in formulating effective strategies for the future. Ministry of Power (MoP)

The Ministry is concerned with perspective planning, policy formulation, processing of projects for investment decision, monitoring of the implementation of power projects, training and manpower development and the administration and enactment of legislation in regard to thermal, hydro power generation, transmission and distribution. Initiatives and projects taken by the ministry for Air Quality Management

The Ministry of Power is responsible for the Administration of the Electricity Act, 2003, the Energy Conservation Act , 2001 and to undertake such amendments to these Acts, as may be necessary from time to time, in conformity with the Government’s policy objectives.

Seized of the current and emerging pressure, both local and global, on the front of environment management for the electricity sector, the Union Ministry of Power has taken a number of new initiatives in addition to strengthening the existing ones. Special Purpose Vehicle has been set up to effect compensatory a forestation to facilitate expeditious clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) for new power projects.

The Ministry has released the NTPC[18] Environment Management Report which has numerous measures on curbing air pollution to set an example in the field of power generation[19]. The Ministry has also released an ‘Environmental Delegation Order’ for abatement of pollution in Thermal Power Plants to further its environment commitments and obligations[20] Review of Ministry’s Work

The Ministry recognises that pollution from power generation through the use of conventional fuel in thermal power plants is one of the key areas of concern for the country. It aims to showcase NTPC’s environment management efforts as an illustration of the kind of work power generating companies can do to reduce the harm to the environment. The Ministry must ensure that the new thermal power plants to be set up in the country must incorporate serious air pollution mitigation efforts into their environmental management plans. This must be mandated as typically the life of a thermal plant is 30-35 years; hence the damage to the environment could be multi-fold if the problem is not nipped in the bud.  The Ministry can enhance the supply of clean power generation in the country by mandating conventional power generators to install a certain percentage of their power generating capacity through renewable energy. This obligation when formulated in consultation with MNRE, CERC and other stakeholders, will also enable the utilities to achieve their targets under the RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligation)[21], a mandate which derives its essence from The Electricity Act, 2003. This mandate will ensure greater generation of clean power in the country, thereby reducing the air pollution from coal power generation. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG)

The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is entrusted with the responsibility of exploration and production of oil and natural gas, their refining, distribution and marketing, import, export, and conservation of petroleum products and Liquefied Natural Gas. Initiatives and projects taken by the ministry for Air Quality Management

The Ministry has launched a 10 point programme aimed at reducing air pollution for protection of Taj by introducing cleaner fuels.[22]  The Ministry has also embarked on an ambitious fuel conservation drive, lead & marketed by the PCRA (Petroleum Conservation Research Association). PCRA is the research arm of MoPNG which formulate strategies and promote measures for accelerating conservation of petroleum products, creates awareness among masses about the importance, benefits and methods of conserving petroleum products, promotes R&D efforts aimed at petroleum conservation & environment protection, supports efforts for adoption and dissemination of fuel efficient technologies and substitution of petroleum products with alternate fuels/renewable energy and functions as a Think Tank to the Govt. of India for proposing policies and strategies on petroleum conservation and environment protection aimed at reducing excessive dependence on oil.

In the past, PCRA has also developed community outreach programmes on the ill effects of air pollution, caused by the incomplete combustion of fuel. Review of Ministry’s Work

The ministry is an active participant in efforts to reduce vehicular emissions from incomplete combustion and inappropriate usage of fuel. The ministry is also a participant of various inter-ministerial committees, which form policy framework for the air quality management in the country. PCRA seems to be spearheading the efforts of the Ministry by its multi-pronged approach of promoting research, performing training, policy advocacy, conducting energy audit activities and conducting outreach.

5.4.2 Ministries involved indirectly in the Air Quality Management framework Review of other Ministries working towards air pollution abatement

Listed below are a set of other ministries of the government of India, working towards the issue of air quality management indirectly. A brief review of their initiatives in this field is provided below:

1.      Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE): The Ministry emphasises on development of non-conventional sources of energy to complement the prevalent energy mix, thereby leading India towards ‘Energy Security’. MNRE is actively working towards addressing problems related to Indoor Air pollution and Black Carbon. MNRE’s National Biofuel Policy aims to meet 20% of India’s diesel demand with fuel derived from plants, which signifies adequate policy intent. National Biomass Cookstoves Initiative of MNRE facilitates development and deployment of clean and efficient cook stoves to reduce indoor air pollution as well as abate black carbon which is another step towards clean air.

2.      Ministry of Coal (MoC):  The Union Minister of Coal recently indicated that industries now run the risk of even having their coal linkage cancelled if the transporters engaged by them are found flouting norms that lead to pollution due to spillage of coal particles that rise in the air.[23] The Ministry has introduced the coal cess of Rs 50 per tonne on imported or domestically produced coal, to be deposited in the NCEF ( National Clean Energy Fund ), which aims to fund projects on clean energy which will lead to the ultimate goal of abatement of air pollution.

3.      Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MoCA): The Ministry had mandated Corporate Social Responsibility activities for PSUs (Public Sector Undertaking) and given voluntary guidelines to corporate entities in 2009. These activities can eventually lead to air pollution control.

4.      Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD):  National Urban Transport Policy[24] in one of its objectives, states its intent to reduce pollution, while also stating its priority to increase the use of public transport and using cleaner technologies. It also aims to incentivise more efficient-small vehicles.  The Union Urban Development Ministry will fund 80 per cent of the cost of preparing master plan/detailed project report for intelligent transport system (ITS) in important cities across the country which will eventually lead to ambient air[25].

5.      Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Industries (MoHI&PI): Pollution Control Research Institute (PCRI) has been set up by Department of Heavy Industry with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) as the lead agency under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The objective of PCRI project is to evolve industrial pollution control technologies with respect to air, water houses and solid wastes to avoid unintended side effects of economic growth. The Institute provides services industries and thermal power stations on a regular basis.[26]

6.      Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MoCI): The Ministry recognises the importance of environmental clearances in its ‘Industrial Policy’. However, there is no explicit mention of any air pollution abatement initiatives.


5.5 Stakeholder – Government Agencies

Various government agencies are involved in the institutional framework of air quality management in the country. The most important government agencies impacting the system are listed below:

5.5.1 Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) History and Origin

CPCB was constituted on 22nd September 1974. The original name of CPCB was Central Board for the Prevention and Control of Pollution. The name was subsequently changed to the CPCB on 01.04.1988 through Water (Prevention & Control) Amendment Act, 1988 to promote cleanliness of streams, wells etc. in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and to improve the quality of air in the country. This was done with a view that the CPCB had to implement both Water and Air Act and functions under both the Act were to be executed by the one agency and, therefore, the name was changed to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).The Environment (Protection) Act (EPA) was passed in 1986 as an umbrella Act to close the gaps in the Water and Air Act, and subsequently, more functions were given to CPCB under this Act.[27] Function of Central Pollution Control Board
1. Advise the Central Government on any other matter concerning prevention and control of pollution and improvement of the quality of air;
2. Plan and cause to be executed a nationwide program for the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution;
3. Coordinate the activities of states and resolve disputes among them;
4. Provide technical assistance and guidance to State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), carry out and sponsor investigations and research relating to problems of air pollution and prevention, control or abatement of air pollution;
5. Plan and organize the training of persons engaged or to be engaged in programs for the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution;
6. Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to air pollution and measures devised for the effective prevention, control or abatement of air pollution and prepare manuals, codes or guides relating to prevention control or abatement of air pollution;
7. Lay down the standards for the quality of air;
8. Collect and disseminate information and matters relating to air pollution; and
9. Perform such other functions as may be prescribed. Roles and Responsibilities of CPCB

Presently CPCB is playing multi-faced role in the sphere of pollution abatement and control. The different roles are described in Table 1.

Table 1: Role and Responsibility of CPCB

Legal/Statutory Advisory Research and Development
1. Performing functions as per Section 16 of Water and Air Acts (a set of 16 functions)2. Issues directions to SPCBs under Section 18; and can take over functions of any SPCB in a given area for a specified time3. Issuance of directions (directly) to industries under Section 5 of EPA; and4. Co-ordinating role under Rules (framed under EPA) 1. To Central Govt. and to judiciary (as per Directions) on matters pertaining to abatement of pollution.2. Co-ordination under Bilateral/ multilateral agreements 1. R&D on thrust areas (Research Committee/ Linkages with R&D institution)2. Advanced laboratory at Head Office and regular AQC for SPCBs and EPA Labs / Proficiency test Organisation structure and division of work in CPCB[28]

Figure 3: Organisation Structure of CPCB Initiatives and projects taken by the CPCB for Air Quality Management

Listed below are a few of the important initiatives on air quality management undertaken by CPCB:

1.      National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

2.      National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP)

1. Industry Emission Standards : CPCB lays down industry specific emission standards and also general standards for discharge of environmental pollutants as stated in The Environment Protection (Rules) 1986[29]

2. Vehicular Exhaust Emission Standards: CPCB specifies vehicular exhaust emission standards for passenger cars, heavy diesel vehicles and for 2/3 wheelers. These norms are specified for Bharat Stage II, III and IV.

3. Fuel Quality Standards: CPCB also specifies auto fuel quality standards for diesel and gasoline on its website.

4. ‘Zoning Atlas for better environmental planning’: This programme has been introduced by CPCB for better siting of industries zones while still protecting the environment. It presents the pollution receiving potential of various sites/zones in various districts and the possible alternate sites for industries through easy-to-read maps.

5. Ecomark: CPCB has also initiated a scheme on eco-labelling environmental friendly products to increase consumer awareness. The Government of India launched the eco-labelling scheme known as `Ecomark’ in 1991 for easy identification of environment-friendly products.

6. CEPI scoring of polluted clusters: CPCB in association with Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi carried out an environmental assessment of industrial clusters across the India. Based on this, comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI) was calculated to identify polluted industrial clusters in the country. This was done to priorities planning needs to improve quality of environment in these industrial clusters.

7. City Action Plans: These action Plans are being made for 16 non-attainment cities[30] which haven’t been able to attain the Ambient Air Quality Standards.

8. Action Plans for CPAs (Critically Polluted Areas): CPCB has initiated action plans for improvement of environment in 43 critically polluted areas/clusters and is monitoring its implementation.

9. Continuous Ambient Air Quality Management: CPCB has embarked on the ambitious initiative of continuous air quality monitoring.[31] According to report of sub-group on environment for 12th plan, 46 continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) have also been installed across 28 cities and towns. Few public sector companies like NTPC, Coal India, SAIL, petroleum refineries, ONGC, etc. have also installed CAAQMS in their units. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) About NAAQS

In India ambient air quality standards were first adopted on 11 November 1982 in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 16 (2) (h) of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. The air quality standards were then revised (Annexure 1 by CPCB Delhi) on 11 April 1994. CPCB consulted experts in the field of air quality and health effects of air pollution to formulate the air quality standards. Subsequent to the deliberations of experts and the consensus reached, CPCB has formulated the ambient air quality standards for most commonly found pollutants. Different standards were laid down for industrial, residential, and sensitive areas to protect human health and natural resources from the effects of air pollution.Refer Annexure I and II for NAAQS (1994) and NAAQS (2009) respectively. Interventions for achieving NAAQS

For attainment of the NAAQS, interventions were taken at central, state and city level. While centrally, vehicular emissions and fuel quality norms have been raised to BS-IV in 13 cities and BS-III in rest of India; introduction of cleaner fuels, improvement in public transport (both MRTS and bus based), shift towards gas based power generation have been some actions taken at State level. Some local measures taken at the city level include re-location of industries; plying restrictions for polluting vehicles, traffic management, etc. However, rise in activity levels including growth in population, number of vehicles and industrial production have negated the effects of interventions. National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) About NAMP

Central Pollution Control Board initiated National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (NAAQM) programme in the year 1984 with 7 stations at Agra and Anpara. CPCB coordinates the air quality monitoring framework through this nation-wide programme, which was later renamed as National Air Quality Monitoring Programme(NAMP).

 Monitoring Network: According to CPCB, NAMP which was originally called National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (NAAQM) comprises of a network of 342 pollution monitoring stations covering 127 cities/towns in 26 States and 4 Union Territories of the country.[32] However, new stations are constantly being added continuously. In a recent report of the planning commission[33], the network is said to have been reached to 665 monitoring stations. Figure 1.3 shows the Air Quality Monitoring Mechanism of India

 Pollutants Monitored: The air pollutants monitored on a regular basis are four namely, Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Oxides of Nitrogen as NO2, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter or Particulate Matter of less than 10μ size (PM10 or RSPM). The air quality monitoring technology also integrates meteorological parameters such as wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity and temperature.

Objectives of NAMP: The objectives of NAMP as envisaged by the CPCB are as follows:
1. To determine status and trends of ambient air quality ascertain whether the prescribed ambient air quality standards are violated
2. To identify cities which are unable to attain the standards prescribed
3. To obtain the knowledge and understanding necessary for developing preventive and corrective measures and
4. To understand the natural cleansing process undergoing in the environment through pollution dilution, dispersion, wind-based movement, dry deposition, precipitation and chemical transformation of pollutants generated.

 Frequency of monitoring

Air pollutants are monitored for a period of twenty four hours, two times a week. Gaseous pollutants are sampled at 4-hour intervals and particulate matter at 8-hour intervals. In all, a total of one hundred and four (104) observations are recorded in a year for every sampling station.

 Institutions assisting in NAMP[34]

CPCB, SPCBs, PCCs, NEERI, Visvesvaraya Regional College of Engineering (Nagpur), University of Pune, KTHM College (Nasik), Walchand Institute of Technology (Solapur), Thane Municipal Corporation (Thane) Review of NAMP

The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) [Refer Annexure II], developed by the CPCB, lay standards for  12 air pollutants – SO2, NO2, PM10, PM2.5, Lead, Ammonia, Arsenic, Nickel, Ozone, Benzene, Benzo(a)pyrene (BAP) & Carbon Monoxide. These standards are applicable for two types of areas namely ‘Industrial, Residential, Rural and other areas’ and ‘Ecologically Sensitive Area (notified by Central Government).

Under National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP), four air pollutants viz ., Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Oxides of Nitrogen as NO2, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM / PM10) have been identified for regular monitoring at all the locations. In some stations additional parameters like respirable lead, toxic metals, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and PAHs are also being studied. The monitoring frequency is 104 observations in a year (twice weekly) with gases being sampled 4 hourly and particulate matter (PM) 8 hourly. Based on the studies, it has been observed that 72 cities do not meet the standards[35]. CPCB is incurring Rs. 3.56 Cr annually on this scheme[36].

Also, there are a number of other hazardous pollutants like Volatile Organic Compound (VOC), Benzene Toluene Xylene (BTX), Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), etc, present in the ambient atmosphere, which are neither monitored nor any standards have been prescribed for them.

Under the NAMP, Central Pollution Control Board is regularly monitoring criteria pollutants such as PM10, SO2 and NOx at 411 monitoring stations across 167 cities in the country.

Monitoring has also been carried out for other pollutants like PM2.5, Ammonia, Ozone, Carbon monoxide, Hydrocarbons (Benzene Toluene and Xylene), Poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) at selected locations in the country. Analysis of long term trends (1995-2009) of air pollutants show that while SO2 has been under control, NOx has exceeded in 11-23% cities during last 15 years.

RSPM has consistently remained a major concern for the country as 82-100% cities exceeded the standards in last 10 years (1999-2009). Current, air quality data for the year 2010 reveals that the annual average concentration of SO2 is within the limit (50 μg/m3), while levels of NO2 have exceeded the limit (40 μg/m3) in Asansol, Dhanbad, Delhi, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Meerut and Mumbai. The annual average standard of PM10 (annual average – 60 μg/m3) was exceeded in most of the cities, except Chennai, Kochi and Madurai during 2010.

Rise in vehicular fleet has caused an increase in the NOx concentrations at most of the urban centres, which makes this an emerging pollutant of concern for future. It is interesting to note that the ‘104 measurements’ as specified as the ideal frequency of measurement of the observations, is not met at any monitoring station due to various reasons. This number should be realistically modified.

Air quality network is presently insufficient not only in terms of number of stations but also in the parameters needs to be monitored. Only 3 criteria pollutants are regularly monitored at all the stations as against 12 specified in the revised NAAQS. In spite of 34 years of its existence, CPCB has not been able to complete the inventorization of air polluting sources.

Parameter Wise Findings under NAMP[37]

        i.            SO2

As per CPCB, SO2 levels are within the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards in residential areas of all the cities. A decreasing trend has been observed in SO2 levels in cities like Delhi, Lucknow etc. Decreasing trend may be due to various interventions that have taken place in recent years such as reduction of sulphur in diesel, use of cleaner fuel such as CNG in Delhi. Other measures include implementation of Bharat Stage-III emission norms for new vehicles and commensurate fuel quality. Also there has been a change in domestic fuel used from coal to LPG which may have contributed to reduction in ambient levels of SO2.

       ii.            NO2

As per CPCB, NO2 levels are within the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards in residential areas of most of the cities. The reasons for low levels of NO2 may be various measures taken such as banning of old vehicles, better traffic management etc. Fluctuating trends have been observed in NO2 levels. Various measures such as implementation of Bharat Stage-III norms etc have been taken to mitigate ambient NO2 levels but at the same time number of vehicles have increased exponentially.

     iii.            RSPM

As per CPCB, RSPM levels exceed prescribed NAAQS in residential areas of many cities. Fluctuating trends have been observed in RSPM levels. Various measures such as implementation of Bharat Stage-III norms etc have been taken to mitigate ambient RSPM levels but at the same time number of vehicles have increased exponentially. The reason for high particulate matter levels may be vehicles, engine gensets, small scale industries, biomass incineration, re-suspension of traffic dust, commercial and domestic use of fuels, etc.

     iv.            CO

High levels of CO might be attributed to increase in vehicular population especially passenger cars in Delhi. Despite an increase in number of vehicles, CO levels have reduced during last few years. The decrease may be attributed to measures such as conversion of three wheelers of CNG in Delhi. Review of CPCB Functioning

Provided below is a comprehensive critique of the functioning of CPCB and potential areas of improvement.

1.      CPCB Member Composition:

 Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment & Forests (Rajya Sabha Committee) in its 192nd report on functioning of central pollution control board stated that the composition of CPCB was dominated by Government representatives and constituted by central government. It expressed its displeasure with this composition and re-iterated its discomfort over the fact that no qualifications or criteria had been fixed for Members of such an important technical and scientific body. The report states “The eligibility criteria for Chairman prescribing a person having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters relating to environmental protection or a person having knowledge and experience in administering institution dealing with the matters aforesaid are too general and vague as to accommodate anyone who is even distantly related with environment.” CPCB must therefore review its internal organisational structure and Human Resource policies to institutionalise the key competency requirement of the personnel as an important criterion for selection of the candidate for the position.

2.      Shortage of Technical Staff:

CPCB suffers an acute shortage of technical staff in CPCB. Though the Board has sophisticated equipments to monitor various types of pollution they do not have sufficient technical manpower to handle it. Technical Staff comprised only 48 percent of total staff in 2004-05. Moreover, out of its 236 technical staff only half are in the officer grade. The shortage of technical manpower is far more acute in various state pollution control boards and leads to mismanagement of resources leading to failure of the institutional machinery.

3.      Training of Staff:

Training of staff is another area of concern for CPCB, given that controlling pollution is one of the most important functions of CPCB which requires sufficient scientific and technical expertise. Personnel at CPCB must be imparted multi disciplinary training especially in the domain of air quality monitoring which requires special expertise.

4.      Remunerations of Staff:

The Parliamentary Standing Committee[38] in its report stated that the remunerations for officers and staff of CPCB are not lucrative enough to attract talented people and contain the attrition rates. The report also states that experienced people from CPCB are hired by corporate sector by offering attractive remuneration and in the process valuable experience is lost.  This is one of the most daunting human resource tasks for CPCB. CPCB must incentivize and reward achievers within the organisation. The employee and staff must grow with the organisation for the organisation to grow successfully.

5.      Organisation Structure:

CPCB and SPCBs are two independent yet parallel regulatory agencies entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and designated with the task of monitoring and controlling of air pollution in the country. CPCB restricts itself primarily to the role of advising and coordination, whereas the important task of prevention and control of air pollution & ensuring compliance through the tools of monitoring and vigilance rests with SPCBs, all of which are operating at their own will and pace. CPCB’s role in compliance and enforcement has been mostly indirect through SPCBs. This dichotomy of the work description has limited CPCB’s role to an advisory function rather than a regulatory agency. The division of work must be re-distributed to empower both CPCB and SPCBs.

6.      Industrial Clearance licences:

The Parliamentary Standing Committee28 in its report confirms that environment clearances for mining, setting up of industries, etc. are given by the central or state government concerned and that CPCB or SPCBs do not have any say in these matters. The report affirms that they are not even consulted or informed and that the Boards come in the picture only after the clearance has been given to set up industry with their role limited to giving a pollution control standard for effluent discharge, emission, etc. Hence, the report states that both CPCB and SPCBs do not have any decisive say to prevail upon the industries to make them follow these standards. This is a grave concern for any regulatory agency assigned with a daunting task of controlling industrial pollution. The pollution control boards both at state and central level must be empowered as autonomous regulatory agencies with punitive powers.

7.      Ambient Air Quality Network:

The Parliamentary committee’s report28 has made recommendations for the ambient air quality monitoring network in country should be strengthened and expanded from the current 332 stations to at least 1000 stations. The report suggested expanding the network to 15 cities per year so as to cover the 76 non-compliant cities over a period of five years. The network of city monitoring stations should broadcast a daily alert on air pollution levels. The air pollution health index should be used to alert people of the health risks in their cities. The report suggests that this should be done within a time-bound manner keeping in mind the growing environmental concerns. To this effect, there has been an addition of 46 new ambient air quality monitoring stations during the 11th Plan, taking the total network air quality monitoring stations to 665[39]. Suggested Measures to Empower CPCB

 1.      Command and Control

The present framework of CPCB and SPCBs working as independent and autonomous entity in their own capacity with no central authority to command and control, has led to a weak institutional mechanism. The role of ensuring compliance by way of inspection, vigilance and sampling falls under the domain of SPCBs with CPCB acting merely as a guiding and coordinating body. The end result is that SPCBs are masters in their own rights and they do whatever they desire.

So far the CPCB is only coordinating and monitoring the environmental quality. Its role should be expanded to include compliance and enforcement. It is also extremely important that CPCB be in a commanding position and that it adopts a participatory approach in the enforcement responsibility of SPCBs.

 2.      Make Autonomous

It is imperative that CPCB be restructured as an autonomous statutory authority with the mandate not only to develop regulations and fix up standards but also to ensure enforcement and compliance. The entity must be empowered to function independently of the government both financially and operationally. CPCB should develop capacity as an independent regulatory agency. It must undertake advisory roles in suggesting alternatives for meeting those standards in coordination with other Scientific and Technical Departments in independent capacity.

 3.      Punitive Powers

The principle of polluters pay should also be enforced. A mechanism to empower CPCB should be developed, to allow CPCB to impose financial fines on polluting industries/people. Any industry is affected most when it is implicated financially. Therefore, to ensure pollution compliance to the standards across sectors, it will be ideal to impose administrative fines. It is also seen that the penalties imposed when any pollution related violation is observed is a trifle amount for large polluting industries and so it doesn’t fulfil its purpose of a negative reinforcement for such corporations. Therefore, the administered fines must be adjusted to the financial strength of the organisation to ensure compliance at all cost. These fines must be utilised to build capacity of these regulatory institutions and their facilities.

 4.      Statutory and Legal Support

The Parliamentary committee28 made an important recommendation in its report on the evaluation of CPCB. It states “Central Pollution Control Board needs to be given adequate statutory and legal support to make it effective and functional and for this purpose its constitution under Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 needs to be urgently reviewed. The Committee recommends that environment protection should be included as an item in the seventh schedule to the constitution in the concurrent list and CPCB be brought under its ambit with all necessary powers and functions to meet the challenges that pollution and its after effects pose before us without disturbing the federal character of our constitution. This new body should be given functional as well as financial autonomy so that it can discharge its duties without fear or favour.” This is an important recommendation from the perspective of making CPCB, an independent regulatory agency to aid its effectiveness and functioning.

 5.      Information & Operational Transparency

The information collected by CPCB must be made public in due time which is not the case right now. This should be complemented with complete transparency in its functioning. Along with the scientific data, legal data regarding laws suits, cases of non compliance should also be made available in public domain through its official website so as to ensure operational transparency.

6.      Representation in State Pollution Control Board

CPCB should have a stake in the governance of all SPCBs for strengthening the communication channels between the two primary regulatory and enforcement agencies. It must also ensure adequate representation in all the state pollution control bodies so as to ensure proper enforcement of directives and implementation of standards issued by CPCB.

 7.      Performance Review of CPCB

Presently there is no inbuilt performance review system of CPCB at regular interval by MoEF. The review should include both performance budgeting and perspective planning of CPCB. This exercise should be done at annual level between the CPCB and MoEF. It will facilitate coordination between the two agencies and the problem (if any) arises at any level can be nipped in the bud.

8.      Financial Independence

Besides, the grant from Government of India, CPCB should secure release of 20% of cess collected by the state boards and which is retained in consolidate fund of Government of India at Ministry of Finance. CPCB should also generate its own fund by providing technical services in the form of sample testing, trainings and providing technologies to various stakeholders. CPCB has to ensure that while utilizing its scientific experts to provide consultancy for fund generation, its core mandate and functions should not be sacrificed in terms of quality and quantity. For this purpose CPCB should have a clear policy of developing its own corpus over the years and should strictly adhere to it.[40]

The IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Lucknow report on the evaluation of CPCB (2010) has set certain targets for the CPCB under its KOGMA (Key objectives, Goals, Measures, Targets, Activities) scheme for better functioning of CPCB. These targets would require 550 additional posts, which will cost CPCB an additional Rs. 18 crores per annum.

Availability of financial resources should be ensured if CPCB has to perform its mandates efficiently. Presently CPCB is entirely dependent on Government for funds. Accordingly, there must be quantum jump in financial support by Government to CPCB. Government should provide funds for strengthening the labs of CPCB and its zonal offices, infrastructure expansion at CPCB head office and Shillong zonal office, and computerization and Environmental Data Base Management. It has been estimated that a one-time grant of Rs. 80.00 crores (excluding the cost of additional technical manpower of Rs. 18 crores) would be required to strengthen the CPCB on all the above counts.

 9.      More communication with other ministries

There is a need for closer coordination with other Ministries and organizations which are directly or indirectly related to pollution control.  CPCB has to create its own space in the entire domain of pollution control without it being excessively dependent on MoEF directions.

 10.   Data repository & Information Technology implementation

CPCB should have strong database related to its activities and the same should be put in the public domain through CPCB Envis[41]. CPCB does not update its achievements frequently on the public domain. In the digital age of technology, CPCB should facilitate computerization of all processes of the pollution control board to achieve efficiency in all its internal processes.

5.5.2 State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB)

In India, 28 states have SPCBs (State Pollution Control Boards) and 7 Union Territories have PCCs (Pollution control Committees) respectively.

World Bank’s Industrial Pollution Prevention Project (IPP) & Environmental Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project (EMCBTA) which was signed in 1997 facilitates strengthening of 22 pollution control boards/PCCs. The list of these states is as follows:

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, New Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal Functions of State Pollution Control Boards

1. To plan a comprehensive program for the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution and to secure the execution thereof;
2. To advise the State government on any matter concerning prevention, control or abatement of air pollution;
3. To collaborate with CPCB in organizing training of persons, engaged or to be engaged in a program relating to prevention control or abatement of air pollution and to organize mass-education programs relating thereto;
4. To inspect, at all reasonable times, any control equipment, industrial plant or manufacturing process and to give, by order, such direction to such persons as may considered necessary to take steps for the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution;
5. To inspect air pollution control areas at such intervals as it may think necessary, assess the quality of air therein, and take steps for prevention control or abatement of air pollution in such areas;
6. To lay down, in consultation with CPCB and having regard to the standards for the quality of air it lays down, standards for emissions of air pollutants into the atmosphere from industrial plants and automobiles or for the discharge of any air pollutant into the atmosphere from any other source whatsoever not being a ship or an aircraft;
7. To advise the State government with respect to the suitability of any premises from time to time, entrusted to it by CPCB or the State government to do such other things and to perform such other acts as it may think necessary for the proper discharge of its functions and generally for the purpose of carrying into effect the purposes of the Act.

State government in consultation with SPCBs have powers to designate particular areas as “air pollution control areas”. State governments, in consultation with SPCBs, may impose certain conditions on such areas, by making a notification in the official gazette, to prohibit the use of any fuel or appliance other than approved ones or the burning of any material (other than fuel) such as garbage and other waste products which may cause or is likely to cause air pollution. It is further provided under Section 21 of the Air Act that a person has to get the previous consent of a SPCB for establishing or operating any industrial plants in the air pollution control areas. Similarly, Section 22 prohibits a person from operating any industrial plant in any air pollution control area to discharge or cause or permit to be discharged the emission of air pollutants in excess of the standards laid down by the SPCB concerned. Review of SPCBs

 According to the report of the sub-group on environment for the 12th Plan, at present only 3 SPCBs out of 35 get financial support from their respective States. Other SPCBs which are not financially supported by their State Governments with little or no resources of their own, find it difficult to monitor the environmental compliance. These States and the ones which do not get assistance under national, multilateral or bilateral programmes need to be strengthened to develop their capabilities. In addition, there are States which are not industrially developed but have large number of small-scale industrial units which have adverse impact on human health and environment. The ecology is also more vulnerable to assimilation of pollution in these regions. These SPCBs require additional financial support from the central government to build their own capacity.

5.5.3 Environment Pollution (Prevention Control) Authority for the National Capital Region (EPCA)

EPCA for National Capital Region was constituted under sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the

Environment Protection Act, 1986 on 29th January, 1998 vide S.O. No. 93(E) dated January 29, 1998 under the Chairmanship of Sh. Bhure Lal. The tenure of the EPCA was extended from time to time, and at present extended upto 28th January, 2013. The issues considered by the Authority include environment related matters, covering vehicular pollution control, sewage treatment and assessment of operations and handing over of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in NCR (National Capital Region).

To the concerned societies, monitoring of action plans for improvement of air quality in seven metro cities etc. and in addition, the matters referred to it by Hon’ble Supreme Court in its various Judgments. EPCA is reporting the compliance status and special tasks assigned to it to the Hon’ble Supreme Court from time to time. Terms of Reference of EPCA

EPCA shall exercise the following powers and perform functions for protecting and improving the quality of environment and prevention and control of environmental pollution:

1. Exercise the powers under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 for issuing directions in respect of complaints pertaining to violation of environmental standards, industrial location, pollution prevention and hazardous waste handling;
2. Take all necessary steps to ensure compliance of specified emission standards by vehicles;<
3. Issue directions under Section 5 of the said Act, including banning or restricting an industry, process of operation emitting noise;
4. Deal with environmental issues pertaining to the National Capital Region;
5. Monitor the progress of the action plan for control of pollution drawn up by MoEF as contained in the White Paper on Pollution in Delhi with Action Plan; and
6. Exercise the power of entry, inspection, search and seizure under Section 10 of the said Act.

The above powers and functions of EPCA are subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government. The Authority shall have its headquarters in the National Capital Region and shall furnish a progress report of its activities at least once in 2 months to the Central Government.

5.5.4 Loss of Ecology (Prevention and payments of Compensation) Authority for the State of Tamil Nadu

In compliance with the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order dated August 28, 1998 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 914 of 1991 viz. Vellore Citizen’s Welfare Forum versus Union of India and Others, the Ministry constituted the Loss of Ecology (Prevention and payments of Compensation) Authority for the State of Tamil Nadu under the Chairmanship of a retired Judge of madras High Court vide notification SO 671 (E) dated September 30, 1996, to deal with the situation created by the tanneries and other pollution industries in Tamil Nadu. The tenure of the authority has been extended until further orders in compliance with the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order dated 28th February, 2011.

5.5.5 Planning Commission

The Planning Commission was set up by a Resolution of the Government of India in March 1950 in pursuance of declared objectives of the Government to promote a rapid rise in the standard of living of the people by efficient exploitation of the resources of the country, increasing production and offering opportunities to all for employment in the service of the community. The Planning Commission was charged with the responsibility of making assessment of all resources of the country, augmenting deficient resources, formulating plans for the most effective and balanced utilisation of resources and determining priorities.

The Planning commission is an important stakeholder of the Air Quality Management framework of the country. ‘Environment and Forest Division’ of the Planning Commission forms a working group for the five year plans, where it addresses air pollution issues. The working group report on Environment and Environmental Regulatory Mechanism in environment and forests for the 11th five year plan has a dedicated Chapter 4 on air pollution and air quality management. This report covers in detail the pitfalls and the areas of improvement in air quality management.

5.5.6 Other Government Agencies (Indirectly Involved)

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), Technology Information Forecasting Assessment Council (TIFAC) and other Local Municipal Corporations are other government agency stakeholders who are undertaking small steps in their own capacity to improve air quality in the country. Listed below is the review of the initiatives taken by these agencies:

1. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE): BEE’s objective is of reducing energy intensity of the Indian economy through increased adoption of energy efficiency across sectors.
2. Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC): PPAC provides authentic data for policy analysis in the hydrocarbon sector. It comes up with studies on petroleum products, their demands and their pricing. It also engages in planning policy for the MoPNG.
3. Technology Information Forecasting Assessment Council (TIFAC): As the Indian National Member Organisation (NMO) for IIASA(International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis), TIFAC’s role is to primarily identify, initiate and catalyze collaborative activities that utilize IIASA’s strengths thorough the India-IIASA Programme which is guided an Indian National committee chaired by Dr Kirit S Parikh, Member Planning Commission.

IIASA-TIFAC-NEERI organised a Workshop on Feb 6-9, 2012 offer insight into the methodology and practical hands-on experience to users of IIASA’s GAINS[42] (Greenhouse gas – Air pollution Interactions and Synergies) model. The primary audience was national and regional experts who analyze and process data for the whole air pollution cycle at national and regional level. GAINS methodology of calculating emissions of air pollutants and GHGs, costs of emission control strategies, and the resulting environmental impacts was introduced through presentations and trainings.[43]

Local Municipal Corporations: These bodies look into taking local actions towards improving transport and mobility issues to reduce air pollution in their constituencies.

5.6 Associations

Associations form an important part of the stakeholder group of the air quality management framework of the country.  

5.6.1 Indian Association for Air Pollution Control (IAAPC)[44]

IAAPC is the first ever association on air pollution control in the country. It launched its website presence on 11th May, 200. The Association has a very strong network of air quality experts across the country, CPCB officials, media personnel, etc in its membership forum.

The aim and objectives of Indian Association for Air Pollution Control are – to promote an understanding of the Air environment, its pollution and effects on human beings, animals, plants and materials and control of such pollution and provide an effective forum for exchange of views and Information about air environment to help to educate the general public, and to create mass awareness for air pollution control.

5.6.2 Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM)

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is the apex Industry body representing 46 leading vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers in India. SIAM is an important channel of communication for the Automobile Industry with the Government, National and International organisations. The Society works closely with all the concerned stake holders and actively participates in formulation of rules, regulations and policies related to the Automobile Industry. SIAM understands its role in the air quality management framework and therefore, it lays emphasis on reducing the environmental impact caused by vehicular emissions. It underlines the need for a holistic framework for controlling pollution in the country. It also emphasises the need for strict Inspection and Certification norms, Fuel quality norms and emission norms.

SIAM has incorporated an independent body Society for Automotive Fitness & Environment (SAFE) in order to achieve advancement of Inspection & Certification (I&C) of vehicles and increased safety on roads. SAFE organizes Inspection clinics for in-use vehicles and training workshops for pollution checking technicians in various parts of the country. These programmes are aimed to create awareness on importance of regular maintenance amongst vehicle owners. It is one of the most effective ways to control emission levels from vehicles in the country. In addition SAFE organizes seminars with State Governments and other stakeholders.[45]

5.6.3 Suzlon Powered PALS (Pure Air Lovers Society)

The Pure Air Lovers Society (p.a.l.s.) are a group of environmentally conscious people who love pure air and want to live in a cleaner and healthier tomorrow. Together, they work against the threat of air pollution to bring about a clean air revolution in India. This campaign is powered by Suzlon. PALS have a tool zone, which has a green vendor list, a PUC Check Reminder, a car pool identifier, a AQI widget for a blog, green tips. green e-books, membership to being a P.A.L.  The programme has 11.7 lakh PALS registered with itself


5.6.4 Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

 CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry led and industry managed organisation, playing a proactive role in India’s development process. Founded over 117 years ago, it is India’s premier business association, with a direct membership of over 7000 organisations , and an indirect membership of over 90,000 companies from around 400 national and regional sectoral associations. CII catalyses change by working closely with government on policy issues, enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and expanding business opportunities for industry through a range of specialised services and global linkages. It has garnered partnerships with over 120 NGOs across the country.

The Environment (Development Initiative) division of CII fuels a number of initiatives in the domains of power sector, mining sector, low carbon leadership, environment policy advocacy, climate change, business and sustainable Development.

Environment Policy Division of CII works closely with the Government of India. The policy division represents industry on several government committees and over the years has successfully developed a credible partnership with policy makers and regulators like Ministry of Environment & Forests, Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Boards.  The objective of this partnership is to facilitate the formulation and implementation of an enabling policy framework for ensuring sustainable industrial development.

CII has also established the following Centres of Excellence, which are doing a fine job in the domain of environment:

1. CII- ITC Centre of Sustainable Development
2. CII- Sohrabji Green Business Centre


5.6.5 Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

Established in 1927, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India. Its history is closely interwoven with India’s struggle for independence, its industrialization, and its emergence as one of the most rapidly growing global economies. FICCI has contributed to this historical process by encouraging debate, articulating the private sector’s views and influencing policy.

FICCI has recognised the need to address air pollution control and monitoring and is conducting an annual conference cum workshop on the same since 2011.[46]

FICCI undertakes various initiatives in the field of environment through its ‘Environment and Climate Change’ division. The department recently conducted the ‘India Sustainability Conclave 2012’ to address sustainable development issues. FICCI also offers services like studies, surveys, policy advocacy and publications.


5.6.6 ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India)

ASSOCHAM initiated its endeavour of value creation for Indian industry in 1920. Having in its fold more than 300 Chambers and Trade Associations, and serving more than 2 lakh members from all over India. It has witnessed upswings as well as upheavals of Indian Economy, and contributed significantly by playing a catalytic role in shaping up the Trade, Commerce and Industrial environment of the country.

ASSOCHAM offers its services in the field of environment; its agenda also includes prevention against pollution.[47] To this effect, ASSOCHAM organised a National Conference on ‘Environmental Legislation and Technology – Curtain Raiser’ in March 2011 to discuss the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 and other environmental legislations for conservation of environment and abatement of pollution.[48]


5.6.7 The Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA)

A group of committed organizations joined forces in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to launch the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) to curb the ill effects of indoor air pollution. Already, key PCIA Partners have reported helping 1.4 million households to adopt clean cooking and heating practices, reducing harmful exposures for more than 7.6 million people. These Partners plan to reach another 6 million households by 2010. PCIA is managed by US EPA and Winrock International. They have an India presence through their Indian member NGOs who work for implementing Clean Cookstoves in rural hubs for reduced indoor pollution.[49]

In its endeavour of reducing indoor air pollution, PCIA has made available a new publication entitled “Test Results of Cook Stove Performance.” This document was developed by Aprovecho Research Center under a grant from the Shell Foundation to provide technical support to household energy and health projects and to ensure that the projects’ designs represent the best available technical practices. Test Results of Cook Stove Performance will be a major step forward in developing an integrated approach to cook stove design which will eventually lead to reduced indoor air pollution.[50]


5.6.8 Review of Associations

Industry associations have a big role to play in lobbying for effective industrial emission standards and EIA norms so that the regulatory agencies can implement the “polluter must pay” principle and safeguard the environment, in the interest of a better future for people of the country.


5.7 Academic and Research Institutes

5.7.1 About

Various research and academic institutes in the country are working in the field of air quality management on issues such as policy advocacy, emission inventorization, source apportionment, dispersion modeling and air quality control. Various medical research institutes are also studying air pollution impact on health and environment. Given below in a tabulated form is the comprehensive list of research, academic and medical research institutes working in the domain of air quality management.

Table 2: Research and Academic Institutes working on Air Quality Management

Sno. Research Institutes Academic Institutes Medical Research Institutes
1 NEERI, Nagpur IIT Kanpur Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute
2 IITM, Pune IIT Delhi Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Institute – Rotary Cancer Hospital
3 PCRI, Haridwar IIT Guwahati Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute
4 NIOH, Ahmadabad IIT Madras All India Institute of Medical Sciences
5 CSIR-CRRI, New Delhi IIT Roorkee Maulana Azad Medical College
6 BARC, Mumbai JNU Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute
7 ARAI, Pune NITIE University College of Medical Sciences Delhi
8 CIRT, New Delhi TERI University Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research
9 IRADe, New Delhi IIM Lucknow Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research
10 CPR, New Delhi Bengal Engineering and Sciences University Indian Council of Medical Research
11 NIPFP, New Delhi BHU Translational Health Science and Technology Institute
12 NPL, New Delhi Public Health Foundation of India
13 Heart Care Foundation of India
14 Lakeside Medical Centre and Hospital
15 King Edward Memorial Hospital

Table 1.1 : List of Academic and Research Institutes working on Air Quality Management in India

5.7.2 Review of the Work of Academic/ Research Institutes

There is a dearth of researchers working in the field of air quality management in the country. It is important for India as a country to develop a comprehensive framework for air quality management; this can only be possible when the country develops a strong research database of emission inventories, source apportionment studies, dispersion models, air pollution environment impact studies, health risk assessment of air pollution and policy intervention impact studies. Thus, it becomes an imperative for the government to fuel research on these research topics more from the point of view of seeking policy level changes in the framework rather than an academic exercise.

There is also an immediate need for development of a GIS based sector-wise and pollutant-wise database of emission inventory for the country. This will not only help in solving air quality issues at local level but also at regional scale.29

5.8 Non-Government Organisations

A few prominent Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) have been identified to be working in the domain of air quality management. A brief description of their initiatives and a review of their organisation’s work is given below:


5.8.1 Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)

 CSE started its urban air quality programme in 1996 to protect public health in Indian cities. The programme elicited tremendous response from the government, the public and the judiciary. In the past ten years, CSE’s programme, supported by judicial action, has successfully catalysed significant changes to lower air pollution levels in the capital city. Some of the key developments with which CSE has been deeply involved include advancement of emissions standards for new vehicles, lowering of sulphur content in diesel and petrol, lowering of benzene to 1 per cent, implementation of the largest ever CNG programme for the public transportation systems, phasing out of the 15 year old commercial vehicles and improvement in inspection and maintenance programme for in-use vehicles. Simultaneously, certain important cross cutting measures including the strengthening of air quality monitoring and checking of fuel adulteration were brought to focus.  CSE has remained deeply involved with the air quality management policies, policy discussions on ambient air quality standards and pollution sources. As rapid increase in vehicle numbers and the transportation challenge has emerged as the key area of this programme, CSE has therefore broadened the scope of its policy advocacy to promote public transport strategy and mobility management strategies. Listed below are a few of their initiatives in this sector:

  1. CSE organised a ‘Dialogue on air pollution and our health’[1] in August 2011. Noted doctors, health researchers and air quality regulators met in the capital to warn that cities may wake up to more wheeze and other ailments if health concerns are not heeded for air pollution control. The dialogue exposed mounting evidences on health effect of air pollution in India and abroad that must drive policy action.
  2. CSE has conducted a ‘National Minimum Training Workshop for Regulators on Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement’ in February 2012[2] and conducted a media briefing on ‘Challenges of air quality and mobility management in South Asian cities’ in April 2011[3].
  3. CSE also has websites like ‘’ and ‘’ to its credit. These websites are a repository of environmental information and also highlight CSE’s policy perspective. They have a separate vertical on air pollution in each of these websites.


5.8.2 The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

TERI was formally established in 1974 with the purpose of tackling and dealing with the immense and acute problems that mankind is likely to face within in the years ahead. The global presence and reach attained by TERI are not only substantiated by its presence in different parts of the world, but also in terms of the wide geographical relevance of its activities. Symbolic of this fact is the annual Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), a major event focusing on sustainable development, the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and assessment of worldwide progress in these critical areas. Encouraged by the success of DSDS, TERI has now established the World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDF), which is guided by the patronage of a group of select world leaders. WSDF intends to extend the experience of each DSDS to other parts of the world and carry out careful evaluation and monitoring of developments worldwide, particularly in meeting the MDGs. TERI focuses on different focus areas of climate change research which include, impacts and vulnerability assessment, adaptation strategies, exploring GHG mitigation options and issues therein, climate change policies and climate modeling activities.

TERI is another important NGO stakeholder which plays an active role in policy advocacy, in the field of air quality management. It organises workshops, training programmes and seminars to help disseminate knowledge about the technical aspects of air quality modeling and monitoring. A few of their projects in this domain are listed below:

1. TERI Mumbai organized a two-day training workshop on ‘Air Quality Modeling and Management’ at Hotel Tunga, Navi Mumbai on 19-20 January 2012. The programme was aimed at bridging gap and capacity building of government officers, industrialists, environment consultants, and other stakeholders in the field of air quality modeling.
2. TERI published a case study on the ‘Urban Air Quality Management: A Case Study of Pune’[4].
3. TERI also organized a training programme on ‘Air Quality Modeling and Management’ from 30 June to 1 July 2011. The programme aimed to bridge the gap and build the capacity of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), Industries, and other stakeholders in the field of air quality modeling. The programme built the concepts of air quality modeling, demonstrated the use of air quality models, and provided ready to use course material on the subject[5].
4. TERI has also assisted CPCB in carrying out emission inventory studies in various cities.

5.8.3 Clean Air Initiative – Asia (CAI- Asia)

The mission of the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) is to promote better air quality and livable cities by translating knowledge to policies and actions that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from transport, energy and other sectors. It was established in 2001 by ADB, the World Bank and USAID as part of a global initiative that also includes Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Since 2007, CAI-Asia is a registered UN Type II Partnership with more than 200 organizational members, eight Country Networks, and the CAI-Asia Center as its secretariat, a non-profit organization headquartered in Manila, Philippines with offices in China and India. CAI Asia has undertaken the following initiatives to promote better air quality:

1. Better Air Quality (BAQ):  The Better Air Quality conference is the flagship event of the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities. This biennial event brings policymakers and stakeholders together to network, learn and share experiences on air quality management. Past BAQs have proven to influence policies, initiate new projects and establish partnerships.
2. Air Pollution in the Megacities of Asia (APMA): The APMA project was funded in Phase II of RAPIDC and is a joint initiative of WHO and UNEP being coordinated by SEI. It has developed as a key player in the regional approach to developing capacity for urban policy makers in a city network being coordinated by the Clean Air Initiative-Asia (CAI-Asia) from its office at ADB in Manila.[6]
3. CAI-Asia released its report on Air Quality in Asia – Status and Trends 2010 Edition. This report is composed of two parts: Status and Trends of Air Quality, which provides a snapshot of air quality levels in 2008 and trends of air quality from 1993 to 2008 & Status of Air Quality Standards, which provides an overview of the ambient air quality standards adopted by developing Asian countries.[7]
4. CAI Asia partnered in ‘The Knowledge Partnership for measuring Air Pollution and GHG Emissions in Asia’, which sought to help policy makers, development agencies and other stakeholders in Asia to have better access to air quality and climate change data to further enrich policy development activities and development interventions relevant to energy and transport sectors and urban development. This initiative supported (1) the development of guidelines for air pollution and GHG emissions indicators for transport and energy sectors and (2) the collection and updating of input data to derive indicators. The project covers road transport and electricity generation and includes 13 Asian countries and 23 cities. World Bank Development Grant Facility (DGF) is one of its donors.[8]
5. CAI Asia has undertaken several other projects like ‘Walkability Study in Asian Cities’, ‘Communicating Air Quality at Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010’, and worked extensively on ‘Sustainable Urban Mobility in Asia’.


5.8.4 Development Alternatives (DA)

Development Alternatives (DA) has acted as a research and action organisation, designing and delivering eco-solutions for the poor and the marginalised. DA is a not-for-profit organisation which has signed a memorandum of understanding has been signed between DA and CPCB to mutually assist each other and develop a strategic collaboration to strengthen existing initiatives for community based environmental action in urban India.

DA has also advocated the replacement of polluting FCBTK (Fixed Chimney Bull Trench Kiln) with VSBKs (Vertical Shaft Brick Kilns) to reduce air pollution caused by these brick kilns.

The CLEAN-India programme, under the Development Alternatives Group, aims to mobilise community responsibility for environment assessment and improvement in all-major towns and cities of India through a network of schools and NGOs linked with government, business, academic and other institution.

Under this programme, systematic environmental quality assessment is undertaken by a network of schools supported by NGOs and validated by government and research institutions. Students of member schools are trained on scientific skills for monitoring the environment quality, which is done using field-based kits called Jal-TARA (for testing water quality) and Pawan-TARA (for testing air quality). The second component of the programme is to generate awareness among the communities and other sections of the society.

The key features of the programme are: Projection of assessed data to generate awareness and mobilize community members to initiate environmental improvement actions and Bringing the data to the notice of the local authorities / Pollution Control Boards for necessary action. The third component of the programme is advocacy with the collective efforts of NGOs and local government.  This phase focuses on: Involving students and NGOs to convince civic agencies to take action against the degradation of their cities’ environment and Involving local authorities to bring about changes in policy and filing of Public Interest Litigations (PIL)[9].

 5.8.5 Other NGOs

Other NGOs working in this field on various issues related to better air quality in the country are EMBARQ, PSS (Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti), NEWS, Bombay Environment Action Group, PRASAR (People’s Rights & Social Research Centre), Vatavaran, etc.

5.8.6 Review of NGOs

 Selected NGOs are doing immense work on policy advocacy of the issue of air quality management in the country. They are engaging with stakeholders across the board and employing various ways to influence policy makers to adapt stricter air pollution norms. However, the issue of air pollution still doesn’t get its due share of importance from the civil societies operating in India.


5.9 International Agencies and Bilateral Organisations

There are various inter-governmental organisations, international agencies and bilateral organisations working for the improvement of air quality in India. Listed below are a selected few along with their initiatives in this field.

5.9.1 World Health Organisation (WHO)

WHO is the United Nations’ specialized agency, working for ‘Health’. It is an inter-governmental organization and works in collaboration with its member states usually through the Ministries of Health. WHO’s objective is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health.

An indicative list of projects or research studies sponsored by WHO in the field of indoor and outdoor pollution are as follows:

Projects sponsored on ‘Outdoor Air Pollution’:

1. National Environmental Health Profile and Comparative Health Risk Assessment Bangalore City done by NIOH and ICMR[10]
2. National Environmental Health Profile & Comparative Health Risk Assessment[11]
3. Baseline Assessment of Environmental Health Status in Chennai[12]
4. Epidemiological Study of Air Pollution Related Children’s Health in Rural, Suburban and Urban Areas of West Bengal[13]

Projects sponsored on Indoor Air Pollution:

1. Health effects of chronic exposure to smoke from biomass fuel burning in rural area
2. Impact of Indoor Air Pollution from Biomass Fuel Burning on Reproductive Health and Neurobehavioral Symptoms of Premenopausal Women in Rural India[14]

5.9.2 Health Effects Institute (HEI)

The Health Effects Institute is a non-profit international corporation chartered in 1980 as an independent research organization to provide high-quality, impartial, and relevant science on the effects of air pollution on health.

In India, it has sponsored many studies on health effects of air pollution exposure on human beings. Given below is an indicative list of the projects in India:

1. Estimates of Population Exposure to Traffic-related Air Pollution in Beijing, China and New Delhi, India
2. HEI publishes report on air pollution and mortality in India
3. Outdoor Air Pollution and Health in the Developing Countries of Asia: A Comprehensive Review
4. Short-Term Effects of Air Pollution on Mortality: Results from a Time-Series Analysis in Chennai, India” 2011
5. “Time-Series Study on Air Pollution and Mortality in Delhi” 2011

5.9.3 World Bank (WB)

The World Bank is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. India is one of its oldest members, having joined the institution at its inception in 1944.

In India, the World Bank works in close partnership with the Central and State Governments. It also works with other development partners: bilateral and multilateral donor organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, and the general public—including academics, scientists, economists, journalists, teachers, and local people involved in development projects.

Following are the list of projects undertaken by World Bank in the field:

1. Capacity Building for Industrial Pollution Management Project ($65mn approved June 2010) to build tangible human and technical capacity in state agencies in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal for undertaking environmentally sound remediation of polluted sites and to support the development of a policy, institutional and methodological framework for the establishment of a National Program for Rehabilitation of Polluted Sites (NPRPS).[15]
2. World Bank provides US$405 million to Support Urban Development in India: December 10, 2009
3. As part of the World Bank-supported Mumbai Urban Transport Project or MUTP, a modern traffic management system is being introduced that is quietly reducing congestion on city roads.

Research Studies sponsored by World Bank:

1. Energy Intensive Sectors of the India Economy: Options for Low Carbon Development
2. India 2030: Vision for an Environmentally Sustainable Future

ESMAP: The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) is a global knowledge and technical assistance program administered by the World Bank. Its mission is to assist low- and middle-income countries to increase know-how and institutional capacity to achieve environmentally sustainable energy solutions for poverty reduction and economic growth.

Since its inception in 1983, ESMAP has supported more than 800 energy-sector activities that promote poverty reduction, economic growth and low carbon development in over 100 countries.

5.9.4 United States Environment Protection Agency (US EPA)

Born in the wake of elevated concern about environmental pollution, EPA was established on December 2, 1970 to consolidate in one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection. Since its inception, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people. In the context of the U.S.’s expanding relationship with India, EPA is engaging with its Indian partners to protect the environment in new and collaborative ways. Recent work includes implementation of pilot programs in the areas of drinking water quality and air quality management. Today, the Government of India and EPA are evaluating new ways to partner on governance issues and addressing the trans-boundary movement of e-waste into India.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Environment Protection Agency of USA and The MoEF, Government of India concerning co-operation in environmental protection. (2002-12) provides policy and technical cooperation between the two agencies in four areas: Urban Air quality management, Water quality management, Management of Toxic Chemicals and hazardous waste, and Environmental Governance[16]

Given below is a list of projects undertaken by the US EPA for improving air quality in India:

1. Building Strong Institutions and Legal Structures: EPA has engaged with India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to cooperate on building strong environmental institutional structures. To achieve this, EPA has supported MoEF in the creation of a new Central Government institution to address environmental notifications and violations. Through a training workshop to State Pollution Control Boards in January 2011, EPA has also provided enforcement tools and concepts that can be applicable in the Indian context

2.  Improving Air Quality: EPA has engaged with India to support science-based air pollution control strategies in Indian cities. With the cooperation of MoEF, the State of Maharashtra, the Municipality of Pune, as well as a number of other partners, EPA has helped demonstrate technologies which can assist decision makers in developing policies aimed at reducing air pollution. These technologies include the tools and concepts used in air quality management, as well as demonstrations for reducing vehicle emissions from diesel buses and two-cycle engines.

3. Capacity Building for Industrial Pollution Management[17] is another programme by USEPA for strengthening the air quality management framework in the country.

4.  Methane-to-Markets Partnership: India and the U.S. are founding country partners of the Methane to Markets Partnership to reduce global methane emissions to enhance economic growth, improve the environment, promote energy security, and reduce greenhouse gases. Other benefits include improving mine safety, reducing waste, and improving local air quality

5. Power Plant Emissions Project:  This program builds on results of a 2004 Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) hosted workshop on air pollution monitoring and control from power plants, and a 2005 National Thermal Power Corporation hosted training course on EPA’s software tool used to assist power plants in optimizing performance of their electrostatic precipitators (ESP). The next phase will demonstrate the ESP optimization tool at a power plant to identify cost effective alternatives to reduce PM emissions, as well as evaluate co-benefit mercury emissions reductions, including training and transfer of stack emissions monitoring technology. EPA will also share expertise on cap-and-trade programs for reducing power plant emissions, and will provide consultative support to MoEF and CPCB as they develop NOx emission standards for power plants in India, as currently planned.

6. Indoor Air Pollution from Chulhas (cookstoves): This program supports the goals of the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air to address the increased environmental health risk faced by a majority of Indians who burn traditional biomass and coal indoors for cooking and heating, resulting in an estimated 400,000 premature deaths annually – primarily among women and children. Efforts are aimed at bringing together governments, non-governmental organizations, and industry to work on: improving the design and performance of cooking and heating technology; social awareness and marketing; business development; and monitoring indoor air pollution.

USEPA has actively initiated a number of programs under its mandate of technical co-operation with India on environment issues. Given below are the initiatives undertaken in the programme on Urban Air Quality Management.

1. Clean Fuels and Vehicles

EPA is also pursuing a program specifically addressing vehicle emissions concerns in India, and in support of EPA’s Commitments under the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles. Key elements of this program in India include (a) Training and field demonstrations of the International Vehicle Emissions Inventory Model (IVEM), to better characterize the contribution of vehicles to the overall air pollution problem in Indian cities; (b)  Training and technology transfer on portable emissions testing technologies, to provide an easier, less expensive tool to quantify and characterize vehicle emissions; and (c) demonstration project on retrofit technologies on-the-ground in Pune, India for diesel buses and autorickshaws.  EPA is also interested in working with India on assessing benefits of upgrading India’s refineries to reduce sulfur in both diesel and gasoline fuels.

2. Industrial Emissions

EPA has supported several activities in India addressing monitoring and control technology for air pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants, including workshop on monitoring and control technologies, and hands-on training on EPA software tools to help optimize performance of electrostatic precipitators.  EPA has also supported programs to assist India in addressing air and other pollution from Petroleum Refining.

3.  Indoor Air Pollution

This program supports the goals of the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air   (PCIA) to address the increased environmental health risk faced by a majority of Indians who burn traditional biomass and coal indoors for cooking and heating, resulting in an estimated 400,000 premature deaths annually – primarily among women and children.  Efforts are aimed at bringing together governments, non-governmental organizations, and industry to work on: improving the design and performance of cooking and heating technology; social awareness and marketing; business development; and monitoring indoor air pollution. The 2007 global meeting of the PCIA was held in Bangalore, India

4. Other Air Quality Cooperation

EPA has also engaged India in areas such as Long-Range Transport of Air Pollutants (LRTAP) and Emissions Trading as a tool for managing air pollution emissions.

5.9.5 Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The UNDP, UNEP, and World Bank were the three initial partners implementing GEF projects. In 1994, GEF was restructured and moved out of the World Bank system to become a permanent, separate institution. The decision to make the GEF an independent organization enhanced the involvement of developing countries in the decision-making process and in implementation of the projects.

The GEF also serves as financial mechanism for the following conventions:

1. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
2. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
3. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
4. UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
5. The GEF, although not linked formally to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (MP), supports implementation of the Protocol in countries with economies in transition.

India is one founding member of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the largest global multilateral funding mechanism providing incremental project grant to the developing countries on global environmental issues with local benefits. Set up in 1991, 182 country governments are its members. India is both a donor and recipient of GEF grant.  India’s Executive Director in the World Bank chairs and represents the GEF South Asia Constituency (comprising of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka) in the GEF Council meetings twice a year.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is the GEF Operational Focal Point (GEF OFP) for India for coordination and operational matters. Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) in Ministry of Finance is the GEF Political Focal Point (GEF PFP) for India dealing with policy and governance issues. The GEF Empowered Committee chaired by Secretary (E&F) guides, approves and overlooks GEF operations in the country. Since 1991, India has accessed USD 327 million as GEF grant and of this USD 154 million was accessed during the GEF 4 cycle (July 2006 – June 2010). Since inception, about USD 2 billion has been leveraged as project co-financing. India has contributed USD 51 million to the GEF Trust Fund (1991  – June 2014).

Projects funded by GEF:
1. India – Sustainable Urban Transport Project:

Objective:  Reduction of the growth trajectory of GHG emissions from the transport sector in India through the promotion of environmentally sustainable urban transport, strengthening government capacity to plan, finance, implement, operate, and manage climate friendly and sustainable urban transport interventions at national, state and city levels, and increasing the modal share of environmentally friendly transport modes in project cities.

The India Sustainable Urban Transport Program (SUTP) under GEF4 was an umbrella program focussed on developing necessary national, state and city level capacity in urban transport planning and kick-starting the process through some high impact demonstration projects on Bus Rapid Transit, Non-motorized Transport, ITS in a few cities (5 cities). It was not designed to systematically address bus services and operations in major cities. The GEF proposal deepens and takes forward the earlier initiative for promoting public transport by focusing more comprehensively on city bus transport and treating the multiple issues – operational , financial, regulatory, fiscal -facing it. The proposed GEF intervention aimed at efficiency measures encouraging a shift from personal to public mode of transport leading to low carbon cities in India[18]

2. Development of a National Implementation Plan in India as a First Step to Implement the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) was also funded by GEF[19]

3. A project on Efficient and Sustainable City Bus Services was also funded by GEF[20].

4. Project on ‘Selected Options for Stabilizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Sustainable Development in India’[21]

5. Project on ‘Energy Efficiency Improvements in the Indian Brick Industry’[22]

6. Country Case Study: Investing in Sustainable Urban Transport – GEF Experience in India[23]

7. Small Grants Programme (SGP), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), seeks to support initiatives, which demonstrate community-based innovative, gender sensitive approaches and lessons learned from other development projects in order to reduce threats to the local and global environment.SGP is administered by the UNDP and the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), Government of India. It is being implemented by Centre for Environment Education (CEE) as the National Host Institution (NHI) since September 2000.


5.9.6 Advisory Services in Environmental Management (ASEM)

India and Germany agreed that environmental management is an important area in the framework of bilateral development co-operation. Environment is one of the most important areas in the Indo-German bilateral relations, especially in areas where Germany has comparative advantage with focus on knowledge transfer, technology transfer, exchange of experiences and demonstration projects. To enhance the success of the previous joint work, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ,) and the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the Government of India (MoEF) decided to work in a structure called ASEM. Environment protection and industrial and urban environmental management are the key elements of any international or national environment protection program.

ASEM has undertaken the following initiatives in the domain of air quality management in the recent past:
1. Air pollution source apportionment studies[24]: In view of the high requirements for controlling air pollution due to its potential impact on human health, there is a need to have advanced assessment and apportionment of the pollution loads from various sources viz. traffic, industry etc. CPCB sought the support of ASEM to provide the needed technical support in this regard.
2. Air Quality Data Acquisition System: CPCB sought support of GTZ ASEM for further strengthening the data acquisition system in India. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has set up the following three automatic continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations and a mobile monitoring station in Delhi, with assistance by GTZ assistance.
3. Renovation of Air & Water Labs at CPCB[25] was also done with the technical expertise of ASEM

The Indo- German collaboration has instituted a programme called “Challenges and opportunities in Air Pollution and Climate Change” (CHOP-C)to further strengthen the diplomatic ties between the two nations. Under this programme the following workshops and conferences were conducted to address the challenge of combating air pollution and climate change:


5.9.7 Other International organisations working in this domain

JICA, Indo-German Collaboration (CHOP- C), EU India APSF- Environment, USAID, SIDA, DFID, AFD (French Aid for Development), UK in FCO, and UNEP among other bilateral developmental agencies are also doing work in the field of environment in India.

5.9.8 Review of the role of International/Bilateral Organisations

These agencies have been providing aid to India on the subject matter of air pollution through their funds in climate change and environment. Most of these agencies are providing India with technical expertise and know-how in this field to help India achieve better air quality in times to come. However, their role and scope are both limited.

5.10 Media Stakeholders

Various media corporations, associations and personnel are involved in creating awareness about system of air quality management in the country and disseminating the important information on air pollution and its health impacts to the masses, so that they can take adequate steps to protect their interests. Given below is a list of prominent media stakeholders and their review:

5.10.1 Forum of Environmental Journalists of India (FEJI)

This is a forum for environmental journalists in the country. However, there exists no website for this forum. Even though, the forum is active through its ‘google group’ interface.

5.10.2 CMS ENVIS Centre

CMS Envis is a premiere centre designated by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, to facilitate information dissemination and further the cause of environmental awareness and sensitization. It has established itself as a key resource center, coordinating body and platform for information dissemination on environmental communication, strategies and media related activities.

CMS – Envis supports a database of Environmental Journalists from across the country[26]. It has published a paper on ‘Trends of Environmental news in National Dailies’[27] and one comparative ‘Study On Environmental Awareness and Environmentally Beneficial Behavior in India’[28]. It has also published ‘A Study on Social & Environmental Impact of T.V And Radio Programmes’[29]


5.10.3 Other Important Media Stakeholders


Think to sustain, India Environment Portal, National geographic, Times of India, Hindustan Times, CNN-IBN, NDTV, Indian Express, The Telegraph, Mail Today, Reuters, The Hindu, Asian Age, Mint, India Today, BBC, The New Indian Express,  India Carbon Outlook, Nature India, Scidev, The Asian Age, Mint, Press Trust of India, Indo Asian News Service, The Tribune, Gateway Media, Earth Journalism Network, Economic times, Zee News, Go Green India, Down to Earth, Dainik Jagran, Business Times, etc among others, are all important media stakeholders who are engaging in a comprehensive public outreach  on this issue.

5.10.4 Review of the role of Media

Media shoulders great responsibility for creating a comprehensive public outreach and awareness regarding the potential health impacts of the air we breathe. The media community as a whole must take this issue with great seriousness and must propel the citizens to his right of clean air while fulfilling his responsibilities as a citizen.

5.11 Website


Various websites are contributing to the framework of air quality management in India. Listed below are a few important ones which are making the most impact.

5.11.1 IFMR pollution map

The Environmentally Sustainable Finance Group launched India’s first online pollution map ( This map, piloted for the states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, aims to track changes in the country’s environmental levels and quality. The interactive web portal displays data from the national pollution monitoring programme along with demographic, socio-economic and pollution-related indicators. In this way, it not only interprets pollution data, but also guides action towards pollution mitigation.

The India Pollution Map has generated some maps based on data shared by SACEM (generated through their monitoring programme) in order to visualise them uniquely and for the community to understand this information.

5.11.2 UrbanEmissions .Info was founded by Dr. Sarath Guttikunda in 2007 with the vision to be a repository of information, research, and analysis related to air pollution. provides both organized knowledge base and understanding of simple analytical tools that may help support decision making for air quality management in India.

UrbanEmissions.Info, has four objectives:
1. Promote the sharing of knowledge base on air pollution analysis
2. Analysis based on science
3. Advocacy and awareness raising on air quality management and
4. Building partnerships among local, national, and international stakeholders

5.12 India Inc. Stakeholders

5.12.1 About

Various India Inc Stakeholders are working in the domain of creating value in the field of air quality management framework of the country through their CSR activities.

Listed below are the most prominent India Inc. stakeholders working in this domain:
1. 3 M India Ltd.
2. Suzlon India
3. Bayer Crop Science Ltd.
4. Bharat Forge Ltd
5. HPCL Ltd.
6. NTPC Ltd.
7. Shree Cements Ltd.
8. Tata Motors Ltd.
9. Reliance Industries Limited
10. Escorts Group
11. Shell Group and Shell Foundation
12. Hira Group of Industries
13. SAIL Ltd
14. Jindal Steel and Power
15. IOCL Ltd.

5.12.2 Review of the work by India Inc.

India Inc. as a whole must actively engage in concerted efforts towards cleaning the ambient air. It must imbibe environment responsibility within its culture and ensure that all its processes and practices


6.1 Recommendations

The report provides a summary table for the compilation of the all the review results of all the identified stakeholder groups.

Table 3: Summary table of recommendations

Sno. Stakeholder Group Recommendations
1. Judiciary The Judicial intervention in environmental governance is a part of the constitutional duties of the Court to uphold the rule of law, enforcement of individual rights and protecting the propriety of the Constitution. The interventions in the past have been largely confined to removing structural impediments to the implementation of environmental laws, which has provided a space for judicial intervention in environment protection. In such circumstances, the Courts have assumed the affirmative executive powers of issuing directions, appointing commissions, collecting and verifying information, monitoring and supervising the running of public institutions to discharge their Constitutional obligations for the protection and improvement of environment.However, most of these interventions have neither been followed consistently nor institutionalized to make a long term impact on environmental governance process.The Court must institutionalize the methods in the form of guidelines to ensure consistency and predictability in the remediation process. Also, the court must safeguard against judicial activism turning into judicial adventurism and therefore, must be cautious of the implications of interfering in the affairs of the other organs of the state.
2 Ministry MoEF is the nodal agency responsible for formulating policies for environment protection and pollution abatement. It is imperative for MoEF to address the issues of strengthening the present regulatory, enforcement and institutional mechanisms for a better air quality management framework in the country.MoEF must formulate a national strategy plan for air quality improvement while insisting the state governments to prepare a more localised district level air quality management strategy which is aligned with the national level strategy. These policy level interventions must be complimented by aiding the institutional agencies with necessary resources and skilled manpower to build their capacity.MoEF must structure a permanent inter-ministerial task force with representation from all the ministries for implementing fast track policy intervention mechanism.Other ministries must complement and support the air pollution abatement strategy for the country through enforcement of stricter emission control norms for controlling pollution from mobile, stationary, areas sources. Benchmarking the AQM performance with ‘Best Practices’ internationally should be the next step for all the ministries.
3 Government Agencies CPCB and SPCBs/PCCs are the main regulatory organs of the air quality management framework in India. They form the backbone of this framework and therefore, their role clarity and division of work must be carefully charted to ensure that both get equal decision control over important regulatory functions. Both these regulatory agencies must be made autonomous and be endowed with punitive powers. These agencies must be provided with statutory and legal support by the constitution of the country to ensure regulatory pollution compliance throughout the country.These organisations must also ensure operational transparency by making all their initiatives and the work under them available in the public domain. To ensure effective communication between these two regulatory bodies, there must be adequate representation of CPCB members in various SPCBs. Also, undertaking periodic reviews and audits of key parts of AQM through a defined set of procedures can assist in measuring progress in AQM. Capacity of CPCB and SPCBs must be built by adequate resources to make them financial and operationally independent and self-reliant. Both these agencies must undertake training and knowledge building activities in their respective organisations. Monitoring air quality and sharing the results of monitoring and impacts of pollution with different stakeholders is also a responsibility that these regulatory government agencies must undertake judiciously.Planning commission is also an important government agency which should recommend allocation of funds to building the capacity of these regulatory agencies and advocating a comprehensive air quality management plan for the nation. EPCA is another important government agency appointed by Supreme Court for monitoring and controlling functions for protecting and improving the quality of environment and prevention and control of environmental pollution. EPCA must continue its revolutionary work to ensure wider compliance.Other government agencies like BEE, PPAC, etc must continue to support the country’s endeavour of better air quality.
4 Non-Government Organisations Though select prominent NGOs are working towards addressing the issue of air pollution; it still isn’t getting its due share of importance from the civil societies operating in India. NGOs must assist in the air quality monitoring activities and help in the public outreach and awareness activities to reduce pollution.
5 Associations Industry associations have a big role to play in lobbying for effective AQM framework for the country. They must camp for stringent and effective industrial and vehicular emission standards. They must also help in the implementation of pollution monitoring and control measures across industries. Indian Association of Air Pollution Control must actively engage itself to raise awareness in the public
6 Academic/Research Institutes India must develop a strong research database of emission inventories, source apportionment studies, dispersion models, air pollution environment impact studies, health risk assessment of air pollution and policy intervention impact studies for which there is a dearth of researchers. Thus, it becomes an imperative to fuel research on these research topics in academic and research institutes of the country. The objective must be to seek policy level changes in the framework rather than it being solely an academic exercise. It is also important to increase the desirability of AQM as a career and strengthen the participation of local universities in various technical aspects of air quality monitoring and emission inventorization. These institutes must also encourage imparting specialist education in AQM rather than general broad knowledge on air pollution.
7 International/bilateral organisations India being a developing country needs assistance from developmental organisations so as to walk the path of sustainable development. International and bilateral organisations must provide monitory aid as well as share technical expertise to evolve our present air quality management framework. Bilateral organisations must share the latest technological advancements in this field with the Government of India by signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to nurture their relations with India while enabling India to develop sustainably. These organisations can also help build capacity of our NGOs and regulatory agencies for an effective AQM framework.
8 Media Media plays an important role in creating awareness about AQM in the country. Media must play a proactive role in regularly informing the general public and other stakeholders of the importance of air quality and AQM strategies. Media can also act like a watchdog of the society by reporting areas of AQM failures.Media must focus its awareness campaigns upon highlighting the work of   “Champions in AQM”, who could be, well-known people or celebrities.  These people can convey air quality information and increase the awareness in different public groups while ensuring that pollution related issues are not taken lightly in the country.
9 India Inc. India Inc. must actively involve itself in the design and implementation of AQM capacity building programmes. India Inc. must ensure that it actively cleans the air that they collectively pollute not only for pollution compliance but also as responsible corporate citizens of the country under their Corporate Social Responsibility mandate and in their corporate philosophy itself.
`10 Websites Internet is an effective medium to share knowledge on the subject of air pollution. More websites must be developed.

6.2 Proposed Air Quality Management Framework for India

Given below in Figure 5 is the proposed Air Quality Management Framework for the country.

6.3 Limitations

1. Data Limitation: All the factual information documented in this report was available in the public domain and was accessed only through the medium of internet. There may have been more information available which may not have been covered in this report if it were not updated on the online interface.
2. Time Restraint: The research work was carried out over a period of 3 months and this field of study requires more time.
3. Scope of Work: Research was carried out within the scope of work boundaries and most organisations peripheral to the scope were not plotted in the stakeholder categories.




8.1 Annexure I: National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) (Revised in 1994 & 1998)[1]


Sno. Pollutant Time Weighted Average Concentration in Ambient Air
Industrial Area Residential, Rural and other Areas Sensitive Area
1 Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)


Annual Average 80 60 15
24 Hours Average 120 80 30
2 Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)


Annual Average 80 60 15
24 Hours Average 120 80 30
3 Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) Annual Average 360 140 70
24 Hours Average 500 200 100
4 Respirable Particulate Matter (RSPM)

[Size less than 10 µm]

Annual Average 120 60 50
24 Hours Average 150 100 75
5 Lead (Pb)


Annual Average 1 0.75 0.5
24 Hours Average 1.5 1 0.75
6 Carbon Monoxide (CO)


8 Hour Average 5 2 1
1 Hour Average 10 4 2
7 Ammonia (NH3)


Annual Average 0.1
24 Hour Average 0.4


8.2 Annexure II: National Ambient Air Quality Standards (Revised in 2009)[2]


*Source: ‘Air Quality Monitoring Regime in India- An Overview’, Centre for Development Finance (Page 9 &10)




[1]  Original source : CPCB

[2] Smith KR. Inaugural article: national burden of disease in India from indoor air pollution.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A  2000 ; 97 : 13286 – 93

[3] Smith, K.R. Indoor air pollution implicated in alarming health problems. In: Indoor Air Pollution – Energy and Health for the Poor. Newsletter published by World Bank, p.1, 2000

[4] Background Paper Prepared for The Atlantic Council of USA Paper by Sajal Ghosh CII on ‘Sustainable energy policies for clean air in India’

[8] The case study has been developed from the Discussion Paper on “Who changed Delhi’s air?” by Urvashi   Narain and Ruth Greenspan Bell (

[9] Various parts of the report on “Environmental Governance and Role of Judiciary in India” by Dr. Geetanjoy Sahu of Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) ,Bangalore have been included in this section (

[15] Report of the sub-group for the 12th Plan on environment:

[18] NTPC is India’s largest power company and also a public sector undertaking

[21] RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligations): Under these rules, distribution companies, open access consumers and captive consumers are obligated to buy a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources of energy. The percentage varies from one state to the other.

[22] Detailed description on the Taj project initiatives:

[27] Evaluation of CPCB by IIM Lucknow February 2010 :

[32] CPCB Website:, as on 23rd May, 2012

[33] Page 12: Report of the sub-group for the 12th Plan on environment:

[36] Evaluation of CPCB by IIM Lucknow February 2010 :

[38] Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment & Forests (Rajya Sabha Committee), 192nd report on functioning of central pollution control board

[40] Evaluation of CPCB by IIM Lucknow February 2010 :



  1. CAI Asia’s report on review of Air Quality Management in India
  2. Annual Report of CPCB 2011
  3. Planning Commission’s  Approach Paper for 12th five year plan
  4. ADB and CAI Asia’s  Country Synthesis Report on Urban Air Quality Management-India, Discussion Draft 2006
  5. CPCB’s National Summary Report on Air quality monitoring, emission inventory and source apportionment study for Indian cities, December 2010
  6. Smith KR. Inaugural article: national burden of disease in India from indoor air pollution.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A  2000 ; 97 : 13286 – 93
  7. Smith, K.R. Indoor air pollution implicated in alarming health problems. In: Indoor Air Pollution – Energy and Health for the Poor. Newsletter published by World Bank, p.1, 2000
  8. Background Paper Prepared for The Atlantic Council of USA Paper by Sajal Ghosh CII on ‘Sustainable energy policies for clean air in India’
  9. Discussion Paper on “Who changed Delhi’s air?” by Urvashi Narain and Ruth Greenspan Bell <>
  10. The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament – 57th report tabled on April 27th 2012 in the Lok Sabha on functioning of MoEF <>
  11. Report of the planning commission sub-group on the environment  for the 12th Plan
  12. Department Related Parliamentary standing committee on Science and Technology, environment and Forests, 192nd Report on functioning of CPCB


  1. Report on Evaluation of CPCB by IIM Lucknow February 2010 <>
  2. Report of the Working Group on Environment & Environmental Regulatory Mechanisms in Environment and Forests for the Eleventh Five Year Plan <>
  3. Report on “Environmental Governance and Role of Judiciary in India” by Dr. Geetanjoy Sahu of Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) ,Bangalore <>
  4. Report on the Strategic framework of Air Quality Management in Asia <>

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