The deteriorating air quality in Delhi-National Capital Region has prompted the Centre to bring in a new ordinance to deal with the air pollution problem in the region which turns into a gas chamber during October-November when farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi take part in stubble burning.
Under the ordinance, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has been dissolved and replaced by a new commission, dubbed the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas.
The commission will comprise nearly 20 members and will be headed by a chairperson who is or has been a secretary of the Centre or the chief secretary of a state.
It will be headquartered in the NCR and will also include a representative from the environment ministry and five ex-officio members – chief secretaries or secretaries in charge of the environment protection in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh
The ordinance, which has been signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, makes pollution a serious offence with a jail term that can go up to 5 years and Rs 1 crore fine.
Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar, calling the move “significant”, said the law will ensure reduction in pollution in the city and neighbouring areas.