New Delhi: As the session on air pollution began in the Lok Sabha on the second day of the Winter Session of the Parliament, Congress leader Manish Tiwari on Tuesday asked the government as to why there is no voice raised from the Centre on the issue of air pollution and why all the time, people have to knock the door of the Supreme Court over the issue.
“It’s important that the House gives a message to the nation that this (House), comprising the people whom they chose as their representatives, is sensitive and serious about this issue. It’s not only about air pollution; our rivers are also polluted today,” Manish Tewari said in Lok Sabha.
He also said, “When the issue of pollution comes every year in Delhi, then why is it that there is no voice raised from the government and this House, in particular, over this? Why do people always have to knock on the doors of the Supreme Court? It is a matter of grave concern for all of us.”
He also suggested having a separate committee to look into the matter of air pollution in the country. “Just like there are standing committees such as Committee on Public Undertakings and Estimates Committee, there should be a committee to look into pollution and climate change,” he added.
Addressing the House on the issue of air pollution, BJD MP Pinaki Misra said that it is a matter of great shame that the world’s biggest polluter, the United States, has walked out of the Paris climate agreement.
Giving the example of Beijing’s efforts in reducing air pollution, Pinaki Misra said that it is a matter of concern as we have not been able to follow the Supreme Court order. “Like China reduced its coal foundries, we should do the same in our country as well,” he added.
TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who earlier in the day, entered the parliament wearing an anti-pollution mask, raised the issue of air pollution in the Lok Sabha and said, “When we have a ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, can’t we have a ‘Swachh hawa mission’? Shouldn’t we be ensured the right to breath clean air? In Delhi, we might be staring at a situation of mass asphyxia.”
Dastidar also said that out of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, 9 are in India. “It is quite unnerving that a foreign premier of a country who was on a visit to India made an adverse comment. I would like to draw the government’s attention towards it,” she added.
The discussion on air pollution in the Lok Sabha assumes significance as Delhi and its adjoining regions have been battling severe pollution levels in the last few days mainly. On Monday, Environment Secretary CK Mishra held a crucial high-level meeting on air pollution.