On 4th August, 2021, the Lok Sabha passed the Bill titled ‘ _The Commission For Air Quality Management In National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021.
The Bill was passed to deal with air pollution and provide resolution to problems relating to air quality index. The Bill specifies in its Section 2 that the adjoining areas means the States of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The Air Quality Commission would consist of a full-time Chairperson, and the Chairperson would need to have 15 years’ experience in environment protection or 25 years of administrative experience.
Other members would include Governmental representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Associate Members would be chosen from the following ministries: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, and Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Members from NGOs having experience in combating air pollution would also be there. Technical experts from Central Pollution Control Board, Indian Space Research Organisation, and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute would also be in the Commission.
A clause that would have charged farmers for burning stubble was dropped from this recent Bill that was passed by the Lok Sabha.
The Central Pollution Control Board can implement provisions of the Environment Protection Act for Air, Water and Land pollution, but in case of any clash of jurisdiction, the Air Quality Commission’s decisions would be taken into account in matters relating to air pollution.
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