2.COMMISSION FOR AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT (CAQM)
Air Quality Commission ropes in top technical institutions to set up a Decision Support System.
About the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM):
- The Commission for Air Quality Management was formed by an ordinance in October 2020, the “Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance 2020”.
- The commission was envisaged to be a super commission that subsumed practically every other law and agency dealing with air pollution in this region (Delhi – NCR).
- The central government had instituted this ‘permanent’ body for the region effectively replacing the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA).
The CAQM has the power to:
- Formulate rules and set emission standards
- Impose fines up to Rs. 1 Crore or send violators to prison for up to five years
- It is headed by a former secretary to the Government of India or a 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.
Functions of CAQM:
- Implement in Delhi NCR and adjoining areas, the National Clean Air Programme, the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme, and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
- It lays down the parameters for various aspects of air quality including emission parameters and 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.
- It can take up matters suomotu or on the basis of complaints from individuals and
- The annual report that the Commission submits to the government will be laid before both Houses of the Parliament. Also, the various orders and regulations brought forth by the CAQM will also be placed before the 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.