Bill Presented in Lok Sabha to Form a Permanent Commission for Air Quality Management in Delhi-NCT

On July30th, a bill was presented by Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav in Lok Sabha to form a permanent panel for monitoring Air Quality management issues in Delhi-NCR. The government introduced this bill to replace the earlier ordinance passed for the formation of the Commission for Air Quality Management in Delhi-NCR. This Ordinance was passed as the Parliament was not in session and an urgent need arose for such legislation in concern with air quality issues. Thus,the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020was promulgated by the President of India on October 28th, 2020

Since air pollution is not a localized issueit requires inter-state norms and co-ordination to manage the situation. The main aim behind this bill is to form a permanent commission for organized management of all the air quality-related issues in the state of Delhi and all surrounding regions. It will impose fineon the polluting agents which would lead to lesser pollution in the capital region.The Commission for Air Quality Management is currently functional and draws its powers from an ordinance. This bill would apply to theNational Capital Region and the adjoining regions of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh where any source of pollution is located causing an effect on the air quality of Delhi-NCT.

Farmer unions have been demandingcutting off the penalty provisions ever since the ordinance was promulgated. Later, the government took a lenient approach and inserted Section 15 in the bill as ‘environmental compensation’. Now, to this, the farmers’ union is expressing their anguish.The farmers stated that they cannot afford costly farm equipment that could work without causing pollution.

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