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November 1, 2019

Private Member’s Bill to Seek Amendment of Air Act, More Powers for Agencies to Prosecute Polluters

Congress MP Gaurav Gogi announced the proposal of amendments to the Air Act at an EPIC launch of an AQLI analysis on Northern India.
By
Jayashree Nandi

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi will introduce a Private Member’s Bill during the winter session of the Parliament, proposing amendments to the Air Act, 1981, in order to give teeth to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to act against polluters. The Bill will also call for mentioning the massive health burden due to air pollution in the Air Act, which, in its current form, is silent on health impact.

“Clean air is a health issue. The Air Act, 1981, doesn’t mention health. The post of the CPCB chairman often lies vacant and often, people who don’t have an academic background in environmental issues take up the post. The CPCB also doesn’t have the power to enforce penalties on polluters. We are proposing amendments through which the CPCB can get compensation for environmental pollution,” said Gogoi, at the launch of an air pollution analysis for north India by Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (Epic) on Thursday.

Gogoi also said that the Bill will propose that a meeting of secretary-level representatives is convened twice a year by the environment minister, with representation from the Prime Minister’s Office. The Bill is likely to have provisions for annual ranking of state pollution control boards and industries.

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