Air quality panel folds 5 months after formation

March 14, 2021 12:55 am | Updated 12:55 am IST - New Delhi

The Commission on Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas, under the Central government, has become “non-functional” within five months of its constitution, according to authorities.

“The commission was formed through an Ordinance in October. A Bill has to be introduced in the Lok Sabha during the next session, within six weeks of its commencement. But this was not done and the commission has become non-functional from yesterday,” K.J. Ramesh, a member of the commission, said.

Mr. Ramesh said that the matter is pending with the Cabinet and the commission can be functional once the procedural formalities are done.

The commission was headed by retired IAS officer M.M. Kutty.

The air quality of Delhi and Gurugram, meanwhile, continued in ‘poor’ category on Saturday and Noida’s was in ‘moderate’ level, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

“AQI is likely to stay in ‘moderate’ category for today and likely to deteriorate marginally to ‘moderate’ to ‘poor’ category tomorrow. Poor AQI is forecast for March 15 and 16,” said a statement by government-run monitoring agency SAFAR.

The speed of surface-level winds was “low”, which led to accumulation of pollutants.

The “mixing layer height”, which is the height from the ground level up to which pollutants can be dispersed, was also “moderate”. This led to lesser accumulation of pollutants near the surface.

The AQI of Delhi was 209 on Saturday, as per the CPCB’s 4 p.m. bulletin, which is an average of the past 24 hours. The values for Gurugram and Noida were 217 and 167.

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