Over the past year, I have led several efforts aimed towards mitigating the ill-effects of air pollution on human-health, by leveraging expertise of various stakeholders and beneficiaries.
The first effort to revamp India’s air pollution control system was to target the legislations that underlie and advise the framework. Upon careful consideration of the legislation, I identified that they suffered from a critical problem- they were unequipped to handle contemporary issues of India’s air pollution problem. Keeping the importance of legislation in mind, I submitted a Private Member’s Bill to the Lok Sabha, amending the Air Act of 1981- after carefully amending provisions in consolidation with expert opinion across non-governmental organisations. The Bill is likely to be introduced in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament in 2020.
Following efforts in this direction, in collaboration with University of Chicago’s EPIC Centre, I organised ‘Good Governance in Air Pollution Mitigation’- a conference attended by Members of Parliament and civil society experts and stakeholders to further discussion on the Bill I submitted as well as other measures that Parliamentarians can take to improve India’s air quality.
These efforts and regular conferences have led to the formation of a Parliamentarian’s Group for Clean Air, comprising of Members of Parliament from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Together, we work towards instituting parliamentary and constituency-based efforts to combat air pollution. Through multiple such stakeholder consultations, we have regularly arrived at plans of action we can take to play our role in the system.
As the Bill sees its way towards introduction in the Parliament this year, the hope is that it motivates the Government to borrow from the best practices instilled within it, and hopefully lead a central effort towards re-energising the air pollution control regime in India.