‘The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) ’
10th Nov, 2020
Dissolving the 22-year-old Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), the Centre has constituted a “permanent” body
Dissolving the 22-year-old Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), the Centre has constituted a “permanent” body — the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas.
- The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) will have the power-
- to formulate rules, set emission standards
- to impose fines up to ?1 crore or send violators to prison for up to five years.
- The permanent body is to be headed by a former secretary to the Government of India or chief secretary to a state government.
- The ex-officio members comprise chief secretaries or secretaries dealing with the subject of environment in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and non-governmental organisations.
- Of the total members, only three members representing NGOs have been included.
Tasks and power of the Commission
- The Commission will, among a long list of tasks, provide the mechanism and the means to implement in the NCR and around, the National Clean Air Programme, the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
- It is tasked with laying down parameters of air quality in various aspects, parameters for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources.
- The Commission has the right to prohibit activities that are likely to cause or increase air pollution in the NCR.
- The Commission can take up matters suo-motu or on the basis of complaints from individuals and organisations
- It will submit to the Centre an annual report which will be laid before both houses of the Parliament. Every regulation and order of the Commission too will be placed before Parliament.
- The Commission would specifically monitor measures taken by the states to prevent factors causing air pollution like stubble burning, industrial emissions, road dust, vehicular pollution, construction activities, biomass burning and other major sources of air pollution.