X Close

As Delhi chokes, top officials skip key Parliament panel meeting on pollution 


NEW DELHI: Top officials of the Environment Ministry, DDA and municipal commissioners stayed away from a key meeting of a parliamentary panel held here today on the issue of severe pollution in the national capital, sources said.

According to sources, members present at the meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development were upset with those absent and plan to raise the issue with the Speaker.

They asked junior officials to convey to their seniors that they should have attended the meeting, sources said.

The officials who skipped the meeting included top officials of the Environment Ministry, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and municipal commissioners, they said.

The questions that the members were planning to raise included: As there are about 50 lakh cars on the roads in Delhi, is the government coming up with any sort of carpool policy or regulation?

Another question was that as per the Union Government, Rs 1,150 crores were given by the Centre to the states in the last year to combat air pollution along with 14,000 machines.

Does the government have a quantitative and qualitative utilization report of the money disbursed? The third question to be raised pertained to the Supreme Court's recent observation that everybody ranging from the secretary to the gram pradhan will be held responsible for losses due to air pollution.

Does the government, in this regard, intend to define and fix responsibility through an internal mechanism? The national capital is battling alarming levels of air pollution for the past few weeks.

The air quality further deteriorated in the last four days, forcing authorities to shut schools for two days.