Centre brings in new law through Ordinance to deal with air pollution in Delhi-NCR

4 weeks ago 22
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NEW DELHI: The Centre has brought in a new law through an Ordinance to deal with the problem of

air pollution

in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas. This law comes into force with immediate effect.
The law provides for a powerful permanent Commission of over 20 members for air quality management through strict measures, better coordination, research, identification and resolution of problems surrounding the air quality index. Any non-compliance or contravention of any provisions/rules or order/direction of the Commission will be an offence punishable with a jail term up to five years or with fine up to Rs one crore or with both.
The Commission will have power to take mitigation measures, issue directions/orders suo moto and entertain complaints under any other existing laws such as the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. It will also have power to prohibit activities that are likely to cause or increase air pollution in the NCR and adjoining areas.
The law provides for action against the head of department if the particular department will be deemed to be guilty of the offences/violations of the order/direction of the Commission under this new law.
The Commission, headed by a full-time chairperson of secretary-rank or chief secretary-rank bureaucrat, will have three sub-committees - one on ‘monitoring and identification’, second on ‘safeguarding and enforcement’ and the third on ‘research and development’ to tackle the issue of air pollution in Delhi,

Haryana

, Punjab, Rajasthan and western

Uttar Pradesh

.
The Commission and all the three sub-committed will have representations from Delhi and neighbouring states. This permanent body seeks to replace all the existing committees in order to streamline public participation, better coordination, enforcement, inter-state cooperation, expert involvement and R&D.
The members of the Commission include secretary in the Union environment ministry, senior officials from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan, one technical member from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), representatives from Niti Aayog and several central ministries such as transport, urban affairs and petroleum & natural gas, and experts from scientific institutions and NGOs.
A selection committee, headed by the Union environment minister, will recommend names for the post of chairperson and other members of the Commission. The chairperson will hold the post for three years or until she/he attains the age of 70 years.

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