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As the city stares at another episode of smog in the coming days when pollution levels are likely to enter the ‘severe’ zone again on Thursday due to a gradual dip in wind speed over the next two-three days, the severity of the issue will be discussed in the Parliament.

On the second day of the Winter Session, 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.

Air Pollution and climate change will also be discussed under Rule 193. Congress leader Manish Tewari and Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) Pinaki Misra will be initiating a discussion on pollution.

Congress member Gaurav Gogoi on Monday protested in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Parliament’s premises against rising air pollution levels. He said that he wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come up with a new law to deal with 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.

Environment Secretary CK Mishra also chaired a meeting on air pollution in which he said the government will implement a winter action plan to curb pollution even when the weather conditions are not favourable. The action plan will focus on controlling local emissions in Delhi-NCR and penalise officials who fail to take action, he added.

Meanwhile, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was 212 (‘poor’ category) near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi this morning, according to the data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that between November 19  and 21 there will be little wind and ventilation, which will not allow pollutants to disperse.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 is marked as ‘severe’. An AQI above 500 falls in the ‘severe plus’ category.

Delhi was covered in a blanket of dense smog last week and the air quality had plunged to the ‘emergency’ range for at least three days, forcing the administration to shut schools and temporarily stop all industrial and construction activities.

— India Legal Bureau

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