Rajya Sabha

November 21, 2019

Nadimul Haque speaks during Calling Attention Motion on pollution

Nadimul Haque speaks during Calling Attention Motion on pollution


Respected Vice Chairman Sir, calling attention on pollution is necessary and the need of the hour. But we urge you to also allow this House to discuss “economic distress facing the nation” at the earliest. 14 parties have given notice. Sir, the issue of economic slowdown and unemployment must be taken up after we discuss the important issue of pollution.

With very poor air becoming the new normal, what we need today is not just a Swacch Bharat Mission but also a Swacch Hawa Mission to combat pollution.

Sir, we do not want to do any politics on this issue, but the first Speaker from the treasury benches spoiled the spirit of the discussion.

Sir, I have three questions:

Q1. Nine point action plan of Delhi Government
The Government of Delhi has formulated and successfully implemented a 9 point action plan to tackle air pollution. Their good work has resulted in a reduction in air pollution levels in the National Capital Region, as pointed out by the Hon’ble Minister.

Q: Will the Environment Minister rise above political considerations and issue relevant advisories, for a change, to the Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to consider adopting some of the steps taken by the Delhi government to improve air quality in their respective states?

We have noticed that some Central Ministries, specially the Home Ministry, issue advisories to non-BJP states to try and make cheap political gains. It has reached such an extent that the odd-even scheme launched by the Delhi Government was deliberately contravened to make political points.

Q2. Coordinated attack on pollution:
Over the last three years, the issue of stubble burning has become a major problem for Delhi-NCR. Despite that, the meeting between state environment ministers and the Union Minister was postponed thrice! It was finally held 3 days ago.

Q: Why has there been such a delay in conducting the meeting when the lives of so many people have been at stake?

Q3. Implementation of existing laws on air pollution

i) The Supreme Court has banned stubble burning in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh. It has also banned construction activities in the Delhi NCR region.

ii) Despite that, satellite data shows that farmers are still burning their fields in Punjab and Haryana, even MP and UP despite assurances. Crop residue management, as stated in the Minister’s report, has not been effective. Stubble burning contributed to nearly 30% of air pollution in Delhi-NCR in October-November.

Q: Why has the government failed to implement the Supreme Court’s orders in relation to these activities?

Thank you, Sir.