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President signs Ordinance to Constitute Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining areas

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President promulgates Ordinance to constitute Air Quality Management Commission in NCROn October 29, 2020, President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated the ‘Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020’ for Air Quality Management in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas.

The ordinance proposes the setting up of a permanent commission which will work for better coordination, research, identification and resolution of problems surrounding air quality index and other connected issues.

Structure of the Commission:

i.The ordinance stipulates an Eighteen-member commission to be chaired by Government officials of the rank of Secretary or Chief Secretary, and will include Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Five Other Secretary/Chief Secretary level officials as ex-officio members.

ii.The Commission will consist of Representatives from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, technical experts from Central Pollution Control Board and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

Key Points:

i.The commission will be headquartered at Delhi.

ii.They will issue directions to control air pollution and will take cognizance of complaints.

iii.The commission will supersede all other bodies and authorities on the aspect of air quality management and will have “exclusive jurisdiction” in the domain of air quality.

iv.In case of any conflicts between orders and directions passed by commission and state governments, the commission’s orders will prevail.

v.It will also lay down parameters for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources.

Sub-Committees:

The Ordinance proposes for setting-up of at least three subcommittees

  • Sub-Committee on Monitoring and Identification
  • Sub-Committee on Safeguarding and Enforcement
  • Sub-Committee on Research and Development

Supreme Court’s One-Man Committee:

i.On October 16, 2020, Supreme Court (SC) formulated a One-man Committee under Retired Judge Madan Bhimarao Lokur to monitor and prevent stubble burning in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

ii.On October 26, 2020, SC suspended the One-man Committee after the Government of India informed SC about Ordinance to form Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining areas.

Recent Related News:

i.August 20, 2020, Air Unique-quality Monitoring(AUM), an indigenous photonic system for real-time remote monitoring of air quality parameters has been developed. It was developed by Prof. Rao Tatavarti, Director of Gayatri Vidya Parishad-Scientific and Industrial Research Centre (GVP-SIRC) & GVP College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam with the support from Department of Science and Technology’s Clean Air Research Initiative.

About Delhi:
Chief Minister – Arvind Kejriwal
Governor – Anil Baijal