Action more important than creating new teams: Gopal Rai on new anti-pollution law

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New Delhi, Oct 29 (PTI) Strict action on the ground was more important than creating new teams and committees, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Thursday after the Centre introduced a new law through an ordinance that put in place a powerful oversight body to curb air pollution.

Under the ordinance released by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice on Thursday, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has been dissolved and replaced by a commission comprising over 20 members.

The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas will have the power to lay down parameters of air quality, discharge of environmental pollutants, inspect premises violating the law, ordering closure of non-abiding industries/plants among others.

Reacting to the development, Rai said, 'Strict action on the ground is more important than creating new teams and committees... Earlier, the Supreme Court gave these powers to EPCA. The Central Pollution Control Board, too, has the same powers.' 'Recently, we saw that an exemption were given to a few colonies in Noida from the ban on electricity generators. It doesn't matter how many committees you form until there is action on the ground,' he said.

The minister also said 228 complaints were received from people across Delhi on the Green Delhi application within a few hours of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launching it.

Citizens can click pictures or make a video of pollution causing activities, such as burning of garbage, industrial pollution and dust, and upload them on the mobile application. It will identify the location and the complaint will be automatically forwarded to the department concerned for time-bound redressal, Rai said.

The 'green war room' set up at the Delhi Secretariat will monitor the status of complaints. A team of 70 'green' marshals will assist in their redressal. PTI GVS NSD NSD