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Air quality management in NCR bill introduced in Lok Sabha

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 30, 2021

(File photo) A man rides a cycle past the India Gate on a smoggy morning in New Delhi   -  REUTERS

To focus on research, identification and resolution of problems surrounding the air quality index

The government on Friday tabled in the Lok Sabha a bill on the commission for air quality management in National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas Bill, 2021 focusing on the better co-ordination, research, identification and resolution of problems surrounding the air quality index.

The bill will apply to the NCR and the areas adjoining to the NCR in the States of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Utter Pradesh, where any source of pollution is located, causing adverse impact on air quality in the NCR.

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“There is a need to evolve and implement a consolidated approach for monitoring, tackling and eliminating the causes for air pollution and identifying, specifying and rigorously enforcing measures for elimination and mitigation of air pollution, including but not limited to, controlling or eliminating the activities of stubble burning, vehicular pollution, industrial emissions, road dust, biomass burning and urban construction. It is now considered necessary to have a statutory authority with appropriate powers, and charged with the duty of taking comprehensive measures to tackle air pollution on a war footing, with power to coordinate with concerned States and the Central government and issue directions to statutory authorities established under various laws,” said the bill.

It further added that sources of air pollution particularly in the NCR consist of a variety of factors which are beyond the local limits. A special focus is required on all sources of air pollution which are associated with different economic sectors, including power, agriculture, transport, industry, residential and construction.

Since air pollution is not a localised phenomenon, the effect is felt in areas even far away from the source, thus creating the need for regional-level initiatives through inter-State and inter-city coordination in addition to multi-sectorial synchronisation.

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“As Parliament was not in session and there was an immediate need for legislation in this regard, the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020 was promulgated by the President of India on the October 28, 2020, but a Bill to replace the said Ordinance could not be introduced in Parliament, consequently, the Ordinance got lapsed on the March 12, 2021. Thereafter, the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2021 was promulgated by the President of India on the April 13, 2021 under clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution,” said the bill.

The bill, which seeks to replace the ordinance, provides for the constitution of the commission for air quality management in NCR and adjoining areas, three sub-committees to assist the commission, including sub-committee on monitoring and identification; sub-committee on safeguarding and enforcement; and sub-committee on research and development.

Published on July 30, 2021

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