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Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM)

Topics Covered: Conservation and Pollution related issues.

Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM):


Context:

Nearly five months after its setup, the central government’s “Commission for Air Quality Management” or CAQM in National Capital Region and its Adjoining Areas has been shut down due to lapsing of the ordinance.

Background:

  • The Centre dissolved it after five months as the ordinance lapsed after failing to become an act.
  • The erstwhile Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, or EPCA had been dissolved to make way for the Commission.

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”.

Composition:

Chairperson: To be chaired by a government official of the rank of Secretary or Chief Secretary.

  • The Commission will be a statutory authority.
  • The Commission will supersede bodies such as the central and state pollution control boards of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan.
  • It will have the powers to issue directions to these state governments on issues pertaining to air pollution.

Jurisdiction:

Exclusive jurisdiction over the NCR, including areas in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, in matters of air pollution, and will be working along with CPCB and ISRO, apart from the respective state governments.

Will this new body also have penal powers?

Yes, the Commission will have some teeth. If its directions are contravened, through say, the setting up of an industrial unit in a restricted area, the Commission will have the power to impose a fine of up to Rs 1 crore and imprisonment of up to 5 years.

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InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About EPCA.
  2. About NGT.
  3. About CPCB.
  4. Overview of the ‘Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance 2020’.

Mains Link:

Why was EPCA dissolved? What has replaced EPCA? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.