Parliamentary panel to discuss air pollution in Delhi today
New Delhi, Nov 19: A meeting of a parliamentary committee on the issue of air pollution in the national capital is scheduled for Wednesday after the absence of most of its members and senior officials from its last meeting sparked outrage and raised questions over their seriousness in fighting the menace.
Sources said Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla pulled up some of the key officials, who had skipped the panel's meeting on November 15, and asked them to ensure that it is not repeated.
The panel's head and BJP MP Jagdambika Pal had written to the Speaker over the matter, expressing his "displeasure" at the absence of senior government officials, as they were scheduled to brief parliamentarians on the pollution crisis, especially in the national capital.
An official message communicated to panel members stated that representatives of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Central Pollution Control Board will brief them on the role of MCD, DDA, NDMC, CPWD and NBCC -- all central agencies -- in "reducing air pollution in Delhi". The strong reactions invited by their absence, including the lone BJP MP from the national capital in the panel -- Gautam Gambhir -- is likely to result in the presence of most parliamentarians and officials in the meeting on Wednesday. Only four MPs of a 28-member parliamentary panel attended a key meeting to discuss the air pollution crisis in Delhi-NCR on November 15.
Besides Pal, the three other MPs who attended the meeting were BJP's CR Patil, AAP's Sanjay Singh and Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference.