As the winter session of parliament enters second day, air pollution will be in focus in the Lok Sabha today. A two-hour long discussion is likely in the lower house of the parliament this afternoon, days after several MPs and top officials skipped a high-level parliamentary panel meeting on severe air pollution in the national capital.
On Monday, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar reached parliament on an electric car, urging people to use electric vehicles and public transport to curb air pollution. "I am the environment minister.... this is the least I can do," he told reporters. "The government is providing subsidy on electrical vehicles... so people should use it," he added.
Among other MPs who made a statement on increasing air pollution on the first day of winter session were BJP MP Mansukh Mandaviya and his party colleague Manoj Tiwari. Both the MPs reached parliament riding a bicycle.
Today, the Lok Sabha will hold the discussion on the issue under rule 193. Congress MP Manish Tewari and BJD MP Pinaki Misra will raise the issue.
Last week, a meeting to discuss the pollution crisis in Delhi and its neighbourhood was called off after only four MPs on a 28-member parliamentary panel showed up.
Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir, the only MP from Delhi whose name was on the list, was among those who missed the meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development. Key officials who skipped the meeting were the Environment Secretary, Forest Secretary, the Secretary dealing with climate change, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) representative and the three chiefs of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
The air quality of Delhi remains in 'unhealthy' category on November 19. The Air Quality Index (AQI) at the Lodhi Road area showed no improvement in the air quality. The PM 2.5 was recorded at 135 while PM 10 was at 145 which fall into unhealthy category. Hazy sky was witnessed in several parts of the national capital.
(With inputs from ANI)
A statement later issued by the Environment Ministry later clarified the ministry was represented by the deputy secretary and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) officials.