Commission for Air Quality Management

Context:

  • To effectively tackle the menace of air pollution across the National Capital Region (NCR), the Flying Squads of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) up to 15.02.2022 have inspected a total 4890 sites for enforcement and compliance of statutory directions issued by the Commission & extant rules to improve the air quality of Delhi-NCR.

About:

  • The monitoring and management of air quality in the Delhi-NCR region has been done in pieces by multiple bodies, including the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the state pollution control boards, the state governments in the region, including Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, and the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) of the National Capital Region
  • They, in turn, are monitored by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEF), and the Supreme Court which monitors air pollution as per the judgment in ‘M C Mehta vs Union of India’ case in 1988.
  • The Bill, however, seeks to create an overarching body to consolidate all monitoring bodies, and to bring them on one platform so that air quality management can be carried out in a more comprehensive, efficient, and time-bound manner.
  • The Centre also seeks to relieve the Supreme Court from having to constantly monitor pollution levels through various cases.
  • Both the central, as well as state governments, stand on the receiving end every winter as air pollution levels start rising in the National Capital region. While the commission will concentrate on improving air quality during winter in particular, it has also been asked to suggest measures to mitigate pollution throughout the year.
  • An ordinance was introduced by the environment ministry and signed by the President in October last year, within days of the hearing of the ‘Aditya Dubey vs Union of India’ case where Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had indicated the setting up of such a commission.

Composition:

  • The Commission will be headed by a full-time chairperson with experience of not less than 15 years in the field of environmental protection and pollution control or having administrative experience of not less than 25 years.
  • The members of the commission will also comprise of an official from the Environment Ministry, five ex-officio members who are either chief secretaries or secretaries from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, one full-time member who is or has been a joint secretary, three full-time independent technical members who are experts in air pollution, one technical member each from the Central Pollution Control Board and Indian Space Research Organisation, three members from non-governmental organisations who deal in air pollution and one representative of the National Institution for Transforming India.

Source: THE HINDU.

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