Government Reconstitutes Top Court-Powered Pollution Control Panel

The Centre has reconstituted Supreme Court-empowered Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority or the EPCA, which is tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region. The tenure of the last EPCA expired on October 3.

The ministry said that while reconstituting the EPCA, it tried to broad-base the organization and therefore brought in more members.

The Centre had removed a JNU professor, accused of sexual harassment, from the EPCA back in July. The Environment Ministry, in an order issued on July 4, announced the removal of Atul Kumar Johri, a professor at the School of Life Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Johri was arrested in March for allegedly sexually harassing several students.

Sources in the Ministry said they had reports that many of the members were not attending the meetings of the panel regularly.

The EPCA was constituted with the objective of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing and controlling the environmental pollution in the National Capital Region. The EPCA is also mandated to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the city as per the pollution levels.

In November, the EPCA had enforced several measures, including the closure of the Badarpur thermal power plant, ban on brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers, and construction activities.

About Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA):

EPCA was constituted with the objective of ‘protecting and improving’ the quality of the environment and ‘controlling environmental pollution’ in the National Capital Region. The EPCA also assists the apex court in various environment-related matters in the region.

EPCA is Supreme Court mandated body tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region. It was notified in 1998 by Environment Ministry under Environment Protection Act, 1986.

Besides the chairman, the EPCA has 14 members, some of whom are the environment secretary of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), chairperson of the New Delhi Municipal Council, transport commissioner of the NCT, the commissioners of various municipal corporations of Delhi and professors at IIT Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

  • To protect and improve the quality of the environment and prevent and control environmental pollution in the National Capital Region.
  • To enforce Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in NCR as per the pollution levels.
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