Air Law and Policy Reporter
Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE) feels that there is a critical need to share information on law and policy with respect to air pollution, in view of the serious issue of air pollution in India. We are sharing here first edition of 'Air Law and Policy Reporter'.
National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 & Compliance of Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
Chapter III of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 talks about Jurisdiction, Powers and Proceedings of the Tribunal.
Section 14 (I) allows the Tribunal shall have the jurisdiction over all civil cases where a substantial question relating to environment (including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment), is involved and such question arises out of the implementation of the enactments specified in Schedule I.
Section 15 (I) says, The Tribunal may, by an order, provide,-
- relief and compensation to the victims of pollution and other environmental damage arising under the enactments specified in the Schedule I (including accident occurring while handling any hazardous substance)
- for restitution of the property damaged
- for restitution of the environment for such area or areas,
as the Tribunal may think fit.
Read the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 in detail. Click on the URL
Definition of Air Pollution
As defined in the Section 2 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, “Air pollution” means the presence in the atmosphere of any air pollutants.
"air pollutant" means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance 2 [(including noise)] present in the atmosphere in such concentration as may be or tend to be injurious to human beings or other living creatures or plants or property or environment;
For further understanding of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, click on the URL below
Click here for details The Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
Will government shut down power plants within 300 kms of city?
"As a part of pollution control measures, IIT Kanpur has recommended that the power plants within 300 km vicinity of the Capital should be shut down. They have also recommended vacuum cleaning of dust on city roads," said Satyendar Jain.
If the proposal of IIT Kanpur is implemented, then Delhi could be bracing for a power shortage. The Delhi government on Tuesday said it is considering a report submitted by the institute, according to which there should be ban on power plants within a radius of 300 km of Delhi to control air pollution.
Delhi urban development minister Satyendar Jain submitted the recommendations made by IIT-Kanpur at the NCR Planning Board meeting, which was chaired by union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu. The primary focus of the meeting was the rising levels of pollution in the Capital.
Jain said: "As a part of pollution control measures, IIT Kanpur has recommended that the power plants within 300 km vicinity of the Capital should be shut down. They have also recommended vacuum cleaning of dust on city roads."
The National Capital Power Station (NCPS) in Dadri and Mahatma Gandhi Super Thermal Power Project at Khanpur village in Jhajjar district of Haryana are within this 300 km radius.
NCPS has a huge coal-based thermal power plant and a gasbased plant. It supplies 80 per cent of the electricity to Delhi. A senior NCPS official said: "The Dadri power station generates around 2,200 MW of electricity of which 1,800 MW is supplied to Delhi. Which means Delhi gets 70 to 80 per cent of electricity from Dadri the plant. If the plant shuts down, then Delhi will face electricity shortage."
The Delhi government today made it clear that the third phase of odd-even scheme will only happen in the city with prior adequate preparations and awareness to the people.
Jain has asked the Centre to give the city administration sufficient time before asking it to implement the next round of carrationing scheme as part of antipollution emergency measures.
Earlier this month, the Centre had submitted in the Supreme Court its action plan to tackle the menace of air pollution and recommended slew of measures including ban on construction activities and implementation of odd-even scheme in the national capital.
The Delhi government also proposed setting up of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with the Centre overseeing cleaning up of river Yamuna and Yamuna Development Front project. Jain said: "We have proposed setting up of a SPV to help in cleaning Yamuna. The Delhi government and the Centre would be the key stakeholders."
Not a single case registered under Air Act in most polluted metro
Delhi might have been at the heart of campaigns against pollution, but not a single case was registered here for violation of the Air Act in 2015. Of the 50 cases filed across the country, 42 were in Maharashtra alone.
While this data was released earlier this year as a part of a National Crime Records Bureau report, lawyers on Thursday highlighted how despite being armed with a criminal law, pollution control boards had failed abysmally to act. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, provides for a punishment of not less than 1.5 years for norm violations, said Ritwick Dutta, advocate and founder of Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE). Read more
Courtesy: The Times of India