Parliament proceedings: Both Houses discuss the impact of air pollution


Bills to be discussed in Rajya Sabha:

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019

The Dam Safety Bill, 2019

Bill to be discussed in Lok Sabha:

The National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019


The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, were discussed in the Rajya Sabha yesterday. Lok Sabha passed the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 6.25 p.m.

Lok Sabha is adjourned for the day. Prakash Javadekar will give his replies on November 22, 2019 to the questions raised in the House.

Rajya Sabha| 6.15 p.m.

The Rajya Sabha is adjourned for the day.

Rajya Sabha | 5.45 p.m.

Dr. Amar Patnaik of the BJD says that while the penalty for rape and sexual offences against a woman is 7 years, the Transgender Persons Bill accords only 2 years' penalty for sexual violence against transgenders. This violates equal rights for transgenders.

The House then takes up special mentions.

Rajya Sabha | 5.30 p.m.

The Rajya Sabha takes up the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 for further consideration.

Vandana Chavan of the NCP says that transgender certificates are a violation of the communities rights as others do not need to declare their identities.

Lok Sabha | 5.00 p.m.

Rajendra Agrawal (BJP) is in the chair.

Meenakshi Lekhi says that nobody expected India to achieve an open defecation-free status but we did it.  Air pollution shall also be solved the same way, she says.

She also requests for extra time to highlight Delhi's problems.

Rajya Sabha | 4.30 p.m.

Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change points at the drastic difference between the air qualities of the southern States and the Indo-Gangetic belt. The specific geophysical nature of every city needs to be acknwoledged in such cases, he says.

He also highlights the ruling BJP's efforts to reduce pollution and says more needs to be done.

The Chair interrupts and reminds Mr. Javadekar of the time.


Lok Sabha| 4.30 p.m.

Political differences on pollution need to end, says Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor of the Congress Party says that meetings in 2017 and 2018 of stakeholders had formulated a National Action Plan (NAP). The issue of air pollution has not been given due attention, and even when it gains political traction it is only before and after Deepavali, and restricted to Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi.

Mr. Tharoor refers to a 2015  New York Times article, in which its India correspondent explains why he is leaving his post prematurely. The article stated that over 44% of schoolchildren in Delhi have irreversible lung damage. The correspondent had a choice to leave, but unfortunately most Indians don't, he says.

Political differences on the subject of pollution need to end where the stratosphere begins, he argues.

He refers to China's elaborate NAP which brought down Beijing's air pollution drastically, and says that India can explore what others have done to find a solution instead of 'reinventing the wheel.'

The present National Clean Air Plan does not have a legal standing and needs to have a status of law. The plan, hence, needs to be ambitious and have clearly outlined targets, he says.


Rajya Sabha | 4.30 p.m.

Declare an environmental emergency: Jaya Bachchan

Jaya Bachchan (Samajwadi Party) points at the low attendance of ministers for the discussion on pollution and says that this reflects the lack of seriousness for the issue.

Farmers alone are not responsible for air pollution. India needs to declare an environmental emergency, she argues, to which the Chair responds by saying, "So, every issue in India needs to be dealt on an emergency basis."

Dr. Ashok Bajpayee of the Bharatiya Janata Party says that pollution cannot be tackled by the government's efforts alone. It needs a public movement and the Parliamentary discussions should reach the masses. Initiatives like Swacch Bharat should be emulated for dealing with pollution too, he says.

Lok Sabha | 4 p.m.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP) says this is not the first time the House has discussed this. He says the House has to take the next step forward.

Rajya Sabha | 3.30 p.m.

Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah (INC) says that every day, 93% of children under 15 years of age, breathe dangerously polluted air.

K.J. Alphons (BJP) quotes Greta Thunberg speaking at the United Nations. 14 of 20 dirtiest cities in the world are in India, he says. The WHO has laid down standards as PM 2.5. Our average is 122.

Syed Nasir Hussain (INC) says the government should have taken the issue of stubble-burning a lot more seriously.

Ghulam Nabi Azad (INC) says everyone contributes to air pollution. He says it is not fair to blame governments at this point.

Lok Sabha | 3 p.m.

Sanjay Jaiswal (BJP) continues the discussion on air pollution. He says if the Delhi State government spends less on rallies and more on cleaning up the air, it would be better.

Bhagwant Mann (AAP) speaks in Punjabi.

Rajya Sabha | 2.30 p.m.

The House is conducting a discussion on air pollution and climate change.

Pratap Singh Bajwa (INC) says the Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar tweets saying that people should begin their day with music. "Our lungs are burning, our eyes are watering, we are already facing the music."

Vandana Chavan (NCP) says air pollution kills a child every three minutes in India.

Vijila Satyananth (AIADMK) says that TN has given free cycles to children so they can come to school that way.

Lok Sabha | 1 p.m.

Suresh Pujari, BJP, says Odisha is seeing farmers' protests against the token system of selling crops. He pleads for this system to be ended in the State.

Shrirang Appa Barne, SS, speaks on the problem of malnourishment in the country.

T.R.V.S. Ramesh, DMK, requests for the establishment of a harbour in Cuddalore constituency.

Bhawana Gawali (Patil), SS, speaks on farmer suicides and the plight of farmers in Maharashtra.

Hibi Eden, INC, speaks on BSNL employees committing suicide in Kerala. All profit-making PSUs have been hampered for the interest of corporate companies, he says.

Vivek Narayan Shejwalkar, BJP, asks for flights to be started, connecting Gwalior and Pune.

D. Ravikumar, DMK, speaks on the Samathuvapuram or "equality villages" established by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. He requests the central government to replicate this model in other parts of the country.

Locket Chatterjee, BJP, speaks on para teachers who are on indefinite strike in West Bengal. She alleges that the Chief Minister does not release central funds meant for the para teachers. Commotion ensues in the House.

Lok Sabha is adjourned till 3 p.m.

Rajya Sabha | 1 p.m.

Question Hour is over. Rajya Sabha is adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12:30 p.m.

Matters of urgent public importance are being discussed.

T.N. Prathapan, INC, Kerala, says fishermen are in complete despair as natural calamities are doubling their plight. He requests a special package for fishermen in the country.

Vinayak B. Raut, SS, requests aid for the flood-afflicted in Kolhapur and Sangli in Maharashtra.

Mohammad Akbar Lone, J&KNC, asks for proper work to be done to ensure the functioning of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

Jayadev Galla, TDP, A.P., talks about the absence of Amaravati on the new political map of India.

Parvatagouda C. Gaddigoudar, BJP, Karnataka, elaborates on the crop damages encountered by farmers due to this year's deluge. The State government expects the central government to come out with disaster relief funds, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 12:00 p.m.

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair.

Vaiko, MDMK, asks if there has been serious deliberation with every State Government on  the new education policy.

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Minister of Human Resource Development, stresses on virtues of the policy.

Tiruchi Siva, DMK, asks if various stakeholders have been adequately consulted regarding the new education policy. Mr. Pokhriyal responds saying Education Ministers of all States have been consulted and their viewpoints have been incorporated.

Manas Ranjan Bhunia, AITC, asks why the Chandrayaan mission failed.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, MoS, Minister of Space, says it would be unfair to term it as a failure. He says no country in the world has been able to successfully complete a soft landing in two attempts.

Mr. Bhunia asks about the functionality of the orbiter.

The next question is on rejection of H-1B visa requests by the U.S.

Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, says the provision for H4 visas is continuing but the Trump administration has indicated that it may be reviewed at some point.

The next question is on Internet and Wi-Fi facilities to villages.

Dola Sen, AITC, says the aforementioned provisions would be made through PSUs but employees of BSNL, MTNL do not get adequate wages.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, BJP, asks if there is coordination to ensure that all farmers who come under insurance coverage also get internet and wifi facilities.

Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao, MoS, HRD Ministry, says it is being implemented.

Lok Sabha | 11:30 a.m.

Water scarcity in major cities is being discussed.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Jal Shakti Minister, responds to a question on desalinization of sea water. He says it is an ongoing process in India, stressing on consensus-building in different States.

The next question is on National Highways.

Deepak Baij, INC, Chhattisgarh, inquires on the slow pace of construction of a highway near Bastar region.

Nitin Gadkari, Minister, Road Transport and Highways, assures that the work will be completed.

The Patna Metro Rail project is under discussion.

Kaushalendra Kumar, JD(U), asks if the Metro project might be taken to Nalanda.

Hardeep Singh, MoS (Ind.), Housing and Urban Affairs, says it is a 30 km North-South, East-West corridor for now, and no proposition to take it to Nalanda has been considered so far.

The next question is on Namame Gange Programme.

Lok Sabha | 11 a.m.

Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair.

Question hour begins. The Opposition has pushed the adjournment motion over the issue of electoral bonds.

The question under discussion pertains to financial assistance to sportspersons.

Shyam Singh Yadav, BSP, inquires on Khelo India- its selection process. Kiren Rijiju, MoS (Ind.),  Youth Affairs and Sports, responds by vouching for the transparency of the process.

The Opposition troops to the Well. The Speaker insists that they resume their seats.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, INC, says the country is being looted.

Question Hour resumes. The question under discussion pertains to construction of dams. The Mullaperiyar Dam is discussed.

Rajya Sabha | 11 a.m.

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair.

Rajya Sabha is adjourned till 12 p.m. after Opposition uproar.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 1:37:25 AM |

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