After air quality in Delhi turns 'severe', Congress MP to introduce bill to strengthen central pollution control body

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said on Thursday he will introduce a private member's bill to give 'more teeth' to the apex pollution control body, CPCB, in the upcoming session of Parliament.

Press Trust of India October 31, 2019 17:23:24 IST
After air quality in Delhi turns 'severe', Congress MP to introduce bill to strengthen central pollution control body
  • Gogoi said that he intends to present a private member's bill with a new Clean Air (Amendment) Act where health impacts of air pollution are given top priority

  • He said he will be presenting the bill in the Winter Session of Parliament

  • There needs to be realisation that solving the problem of pollution in Delhi needs a 'multi-sectoral' approach, Gogoi said

New Delhi: Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said on Thursday he will introduce a private member's bill to give "more teeth" to the apex pollution control body, CPCB, in the upcoming session of Parliament.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event, Gogoi said that he intends to present a private member's bill with a new Clean Air (Amendment) Act where health impacts of air pollution are given top priority. He said he will be presenting the bill in the Winter Session of Parliament.

"Presently, the Central Pollution Control Board does not have the power to impose penalties. It can endorse compensation but it is not mentioned in the Clean Air Act. The CPCB is like a 'toothless tiger' right now and there is a need to give it more teeth," he said.

After air quality in Delhi turns severe Congress MP to introduce bill to strengthen central pollution control body

File image of Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi. Twitter@GauravGogoiAsm

Secondly, there needs to be realisation that solving the problem of pollution in Delhi needs a "multi-sectoral" approach, Gogoi said.

"Lastly, transparency is very important and for that the CPCB can put out a ranking of all the state PCBs on their performance. Similarly an exercise can also be done for industries which cause most pollution," he said.

Gogoi, the MP from Kaliabor in Assam, said pollution has become "a public health emergency" and there is a need to treat it like one.

"Right to breathe clean air needs to become a fundamental right. There needs to be multi-sectoral multi-ministerial effort that has involvement right from the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) level," he said.

Gogoi further said that political parties should rise above politics to deal with the alarming levels of pollution being battled by the country.

The next session of Parliament will start on 18 November and continue till 13 December.

The air quality in Delhi remained in the severe category on Thursday morning, with the smoky haze lingering over the national capital for the third consecutive day becoming a serious health concern for the residents. Twenty-two of the 37 air quality monitoring stations across Delhi recorded the air quality in the severe category.

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