Commission for Air Quality Management

Recently, the Centre issued an ordinance to put in place a new anti-pollution agency to tackle the crisis in the Delhi-National Capital Region area. The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) will have the power to formulate rules, set emission standards and impose fines up to ₹1 crore or send violators to prison for up to five years. CAQM will have members from the Centre, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, and non-governmental organisations. 

The commission will have the authority to shut down or regulate water and electricity supply to industries or sites which cause air pollution. It will also have the powers to seize and search under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and also issue a warrant. The already existing Environment Pollution (prevention & control) Authority (EPCA), formed in 1998, has been dissolved. In case of any dispute with regard to the commission and its order, the case would be heard only at the National Green Tribunal.


The President under Article 123 and of the Governor under Article 213 can issue ordinances.

Article 123 of the Constitution grants the President certain law making powers to promulgate Ordinances when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session and hence it is not possible to enact laws in the Parliament.

The following limitations exist with regard to the Ordinance making power of the executive:

i. Legislature is not in session: The President can only promulgate an Ordinance when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session.
ii. Immediate action is required: The President cannot promulgate an Ordinance unless he is satisfied that there are circumstances that require taking ‘immediate action.
iii. Parliamentary approval during session: Ordinances must be approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembling or they shall cease to operate. They will also cease to operate in case resolutions disapproving the Ordinance are passed by both the Houses.
It was argued in DC Wadhwa vs. State of Bihar (1987) the legislative power of the executive to promulgate Ordinances is to be used in exceptional circumstances and not as a substitute for the law making power of the legislature.

Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is an air pollutant that is a concern for people’s health when levels in air are high. The term fine particles, or particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one half microns or less in width. Like inches, meters and miles, a micron is a unit of measurement for distance. There are about 25,000 microns in an inch.

Particles in the PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs. Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath.

There are outdoor and indoor sources of fine particles. Outside, fine particles primarily come from car, truck, bus and off-road vehicle (e.g., construction equipment, snowmobile, locomotive) exhausts, other operations that involve the burning of fuels such as wood, heating oil or coal and natural sources such as forest and grass fires. Fine particles also form from the reaction of gases or droplets in the atmosphere from sources such as power plants. These chemical reactions can occur miles from the original source of the emissions. Because fine particles can be carried long distances from their source, events such as wildfires or volcanic eruptions can raise fine particle concentrations hundreds of miles from the event.

PM2.5 is also produced by common indoor activities. Some indoor sources of fine particles are tobacco smoke, cooking (e.g., frying, sautéing, and broiling), burning candles or oil lamps, and operating fireplaces and fuel-burning space heaters (e.g., kerosene heaters)


Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password