New pollution law divides environment expert's opinions

Some experts believe the ordinance has been brought in without any consultation process

Published: 30th October 2020 08:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th October 2020 08:27 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi Pollution

The contributors are stubble burning, construction work and coal thermal plants. (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre’s new law to check air pollution in Delhi NCR has received mixed reactions from environmental experts with many saying that the ordinance has been brought in without any consultation process and that air pollution is a problem faced by people across the country but the new legislation limits measures to just Delhi NCR. 

Calling the Commission on Air Quality Management (CAQM) a bureaucratic vessel with over 20 members, Dr Navroz Dubash, professor, Centre for Policy Research & Lead Coordinating Author, IPCC, said: “The new Commission (CAQM) could bring focused and sustained attention to air quality, and help solve inter-departmental coordination problems. But equally, without clear benchmarks of progress and without ways of devising creative solutions, it could reproduce old deadlocks.” 

“The fact that it was created practically overnight, with no discussion and input, does not inspire confidence that it will open the doors to a more fruitful conversation and action across all interests,” he said.

Sunil Dahiya, analyst, Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, opined that the major issue with the ordinance will be when it comes to implementation, as EPCA (Environment Pollution Control Authority) had almost similar powers but failed in cleaning the air even after being in force for more than 20 years. 

“Another major issue with the ordinance is that it again tries to emphasise that the lives of people in other parts of the country are not valued as much as it is for citizens in Delhi-NCR. We have hazardous air pollution situation throughout most of the country and the ordinance fails to address that issue,” said Dahiya.

Ritwick Dutta, Environmental Lawyer & Founder, Legal Initiative for Forests and Environment (LIFE) said that it is clear from the composition that it is a ‘Civil Servants Club’. 

​“A legislation on the environment should not be promulgated through the ordinance route,” he said. 


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