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Latest News: Centre brings new law to curb Air Pollution in Delhi-NCR with 1 Crore Fine, 5 Years in Prison

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap

The Government has issued an ordinance for air pollution as an offence with a jail term, which may go up to 5 years and a penalty up to Rs 1 crore. The ordinance was issued on Wednesday night after the approval of the President. 

Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had informed the Supreme Court (SC) that the government will enact a law to prevent the menace of air pollution in Delhi-NCR, and urged the court to keep its order of a one-man panel of former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B. Lokur in abeyance to monitor steps to for stubble burning.  

According to the ordinance, a Commission for Air Quality Management will be going to be set up for the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.  

"Any non-compliance of this Ordinance, rules made thereunder or any other order or direction issued by the Commission shall be an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to five years or with fine which may extend up to one crore rupees or with both", stated the ordinance. 

The chairman of the Commission will be selected by a committee headed by the minister for environment forest and climate change and it’ll also comprise ministers for transport and commerce, science and technology as well as Cabinet secretary. 

The 18-member Commission is going to be headed by a full-time chairperson as per who has been a secretary to the government of India or chief secretary of a state.  

Out of the 18 members, 10 will be bureaucrats remaining 8 will be others are who experts and activists. 

The Commission will check out issues of stubble burning, vehicular pollution, dust pollution and all other factors, which contribute towards the deteriorating the standard quality of air in Delhi-NCR. 

One of the important aspects of the commission is that Centre has proposed to replace the Supreme Court-appointed EPCA and all other bodies with it, which will make this Commission an exclusive authority on air quality management for Delhi-NCR, and it submit annual reports to Parliament and the commission will be a central body for all purposes. 

Orders of the Commission can be challenged only before National Green Tribunal (NGT) and not in any civil court or other.  

Further in its fight against pollution, the Delhi government also today introduced a photograph, audio, and video-based mobile app to enable citizens here to report pollution violations and local sources like garbage burning, dust due to construction activities, industrial activities, and other local pollutants. Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal launched the app to extend citizen participation and ensure timely action. 

The 'Green Delhi' App is among the slew of anti-pollution measures announced by the Delhi government under the 'YuddhPradushan Ke Viruddh' campaign. 

The app can be downloaded for android phones for now and will be available on other platforms very soon. 

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