The Lok Sabha took up the debate on pollution in Delhi, with Congress MP Manish Tewari opening proceedings. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar is expected to reply later in the evening. "It's important that today this House gives a message to the nation that this (House), comprising the people whom they chose as their representatives, is sensitive and serious about this issue. It's not only about air pollution; our rivers are also polluted today," said Tewari in his opening address. "When the pollution issue occurs every year in Delhi, then why is it that no voice is raised from the government and this House over this? Why do people need to knock on the doors of the Supreme Court every year over this issue? It is a matter of grave concern."
A Child Dies Every 3 Minutes Beause of Air Pollution: Gautam Gambhir | BJP MP Gautam Gambhir is now addressing the Lok Sabha. He cites Ghazipur landfill, the biggest landfill in Asia, as the biggest source for air pollution in his constituency. "Accusing each other on the issue of pollution will not work. Every three minutes a child dies from pollution. We need to find long-term solutions," he said.
Matter of Shame That Only 4 MPs Attended Committee Meeting on Pollution: BSP MP | BSP MP Kunwar Danish Ali said that its a matter of shame that only 4 MPs attended last week's committe meeting on pollution. "Last week, the capital was the world's most polluted city, and it is in this city that our Parliament is located." He further said, "It is a matter of shame that only 4 MPs attended a committee meeting on pollution."
LS Speaker OM Birla Warns Officers who Missed Last Week's Parl Meeting | Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla summons officers who went missing during the last week urban development parliament party meeting. Officials from DDA, Municipal corporation, Municipal Commissioners and members of Jal Board appeared before the Speaker. The speaker expressed his unhappiness with them about missing the committee meeting and warned them of action in case of repeated offence.
Shiv Sena MP Cites Floods in Maharashtra as Example of Climate Change | Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant says the effects of climate change are clearly visible everywhere as never in the history did Maharashtra witness such an elongated monsoons Not only did it rain a lot, but many low lying areas also got flooded.
TMC MP Kakoli Das Dastidar, wearing a mask in the Lok Sabha, says the people of India deserve the right to breathe clean air. She questions why cant we have a 'Swachh Hawa Mission', just like the 'Swach Bharat Mission'.
Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, TMC, in Lok Sabha: When we have a 'Swachh Bharat mission', can't we have a 'Swachh hawa mission'? Shouldn't we be ensured the right to breath clean air?...In Delhi we might be staring at a situation of mass asphyxia. https://t.co/3WiZJ0sXwt— ANI (@ANI) November 19, 2019
Breathing in Delhi Equivalent to Smoking 40-50 Cigarettes a Day: DMK MP | Citing various studies, DMK MP Thamizhachi Thangapandian says breathing the Delhi air is equivalent to smoking 40-50 cigarettes a day. Another study says if the government met the WHO standards, the people of Delhi would live 9 more years.
BJP's Parvesh Verma Lashes Out at AAP Govt's Efforts at Reducing Pollution | BJP MP Parvesh Verma attacks Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for not taking enough steps to curb air pollution in Delhi. He says the Delhi government had a Rs 600 crore budget for advertisement, which should have instead been spent on curbing on Air pollution. He says the AAP keeps on blaming the neighbouring states for stubble burning, but does not talk about pollution eminating from vehicles, which is the biggest source of air pollution in Delhi.
Pinaki Misra Cites Beijing's Efforts in Reducing Air Pollution | Talking about bursting of crackers, Pinaki Misra says its a matter of great shame that we have not been able enact self-restraint on ourselves and have not followed the Supreme Court order, banning bursting of crackers. He then again cites the example of Beijing as a model for reducing air pollution, addind that China has reduced its coal foundries, and so should we.
Manish Tewari Proposes a Standing Committee on Pollution | Manish Tewari proposes the formation of a standing committee, which will only focus on curbing pollution. The committee should meet during every session and lay out its plans. Talking about stubble burning, Tewari says that the act is conemnable but we should also understand the economic realities of a small farmer.
Manish Tewari adds that the problem is not only of air pollution, but also of river, lakes and glaciers. He says be it the BJP government or the Congress government, none have been able to curb pollution. He gives the example of Beijing, once the most polluted city in the world, as the city from which our country should learn and understand the magnitude of this problem.
Debate on Air Pollution Begins in Lok Sabha | The debate on Air pollution is now underway in the Lok Sabha. Congress leader Manish Tewari is addressing the house. Citing a World Health Organization report, he says the problem of Air pollution is not just limited to Delhi as 10 of the 15 most polluted cities in the World are in India.
In a letter addressed to Home Minister Amit Shah, People's Democratic Party leader Mir Rayaz raises the issues of the internet blockade in Jammu and Kashmir and the continued detention of mainstream leaders. "We strongly demand the release of all political leaders and party workers as well as the 3 former Chief Ministers who have been detained since more than three and a half months now," the letter reads.
The Minister of State in Home Affairs Ministry has also confirmed that 765 persons have been arrested in 190 cases of stone-pelting since August 5, when the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir's special status was announced. A report from October 10, had, however, pegged this number at over 300.
Congress Stages Walkout over the SPG Cover Issue | Congress stages a walkout over the issue of the withdrawal of SPG cover from the Gandhis. The party has now demanded that PM Modi reply to their concerns. "Tomorrow if an attack happens on Gandhis and Manmohan Singh...BJP will be answerable. SPG cover was removed as they do not want them to reach out to public," says the party's leader in the Lower House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad is set to launch a Citizenship (Amendment) Bill campaign to win the support of parliamentarians, especially TMC MPs, who are vehemently against the proposed legislation. "The aim is to reach out to MPs cutting across party lines, especially the opposition lawmakers, to raise awareness about the need for CAB, highlight the plight of refugees and try to convince them to back the bill, whenever it is tabled in Parliament, "VHP national assistant secretary Sachindranath Singha said.
'Explain Need to Withdrawn SPG Cover': Cong Asks in LS | Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raked up the issue of the withdrawal of SPG cover from the Gandhi family. "They (Gandhis) are not ordinary protectees. What happened suddenly that their SPG was removed? Why was there a need for the withdrawal," Chowdhury questions.
Lathicharge on Students Condemnable, Says BSP | Raising the issue of the alleged use of force by the police on the JNU students, Kunwar Danish Ali of the Bahujan Samaj Party says, "It is condemnable how the students were lathicharged by the police. The government should apologise." Ali further calls for a probe into the incident.
Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla has threatened action against the Congress MPs who are protesting over the withdrawal of SPG cover from the Gandhi family in the Parliament's well. "There may have been a precedent to communicate with the Chair from the well...but after today if this happens..I will take action," he says.
Earlier, Congress members raised the issue of withdrawal of SPG security cover for party president Sonia Gandhi, former party president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The members were heard shouting slogans such as 'please stop revenge politics', 'end dictatorship' and 'we want justice'. Some party members also shouted slogans in Tamil.
Birla told agitating members that they were not setting a good precedent by protesting in the Well. Members from the DMK were standing at their seats and on the aisle as they wanted to raise some issues but could not be heard in the din.
The Congress had today given an adjournment notice in the Lok Sabha on the withdrawal of SPG cover to the Gandhi family, even as party president Sonia Gandhi walked into Parliament alone as the lone CRPF personnel accompanying her in the car was stopped at gate 1 by security. The CRPF has taken over the security duties of Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka after the Union government withdrew their SPG cover.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which has a special VVIP security unit, has been asked to provide a 'Z+' cover to the Gandhi family on an all-India basis by the Union home ministry after the Special Protection Group (SPG) security was removed. The decision to withdraw the SPG cover given to the family of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated by LTTE terrorists on May 21, 1991, was taken after a detailed security assessment, officials had said.
Meanwhile, the Capital was on Monday rocked by students of several universities coming together in solidarity with their JNU peers who have been protesting for over three weeks against the fee hike. The TMC, Congress and CPI want to raise the JNU issue in Parliament after students refused to back down from their agitation. According to the police, around 30 police personnel and 15 students were injured during the protest. While the students alleged that they were baton-charged by police, top police officials denied having used any force.
Delhi’s pollution crisis too will be taken up by the Lok Sabha today, with minister Prakash Javadekar replying in the House later in the evening.
Apart from this, the government has listed Citizenship (amendment) Bill, a key BJP plank which is aimed at granting nationality to non-Muslim immigrants from neighbouring countries, for passage in this session. The Modi government had introduced the bill in its previous tenure as well but could not push it through due to vehement protests by opposition parties, which criticised the bill as discriminatory on religious grounds. The legislation seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan if they have fled their respective country due to religious persecution.
The government is also set to table Personal Data Protection Bill - which proposes to put restriction on use of personal data without explicit consent of citizen - in the current session of Parliament. As per the proposal, hefty penalties on entities found violating privacy of users will be imposed. The draft of Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 - which is based on the recommendations of the government-constituted high-level panel headed by Justice B N Srikrishna - restricts and imposes conditions on the cross-border transfer of personal data, and suggests setting up of Data Protection Authority of India to prevent any misuse of personal information.
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