The Rajya Sabha saw a lukewarm response to a call action notice made by the Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu urging all MPs to be present in the House to discuss the air pollution crisis in Delhi on Thursday. Despite the notice, majority MPs failed to attend the session. Both the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress had little-to-no MPs present in the upper house despite raising huge concerns on air pollution issues in the past. Earlier this week, the BJP and Congress MPs had given a Zero Hour notice over severe air pollution crisis in the national capital. However, there was no show in the Rajya Sabha as most MPs decided to skip the discussion.
Several cities across the country are facing severe air pollution crisis especially the Delhi-NCR region. Unfortunately, when the issue was raised in Rajya Sabha, several MPs failed to attend and less than 100 MPs were present in the House. Recently Hema Malini, BJP Member of Parliament had expressed concern on the air pollution crisis in the national capital. When asked on reasons for the absence of members of parliament for the recent meetings on the air pollution crisis, the veteran actor-turned-politician said,
''It is a matter of concern for those living in the national capital. Most of the parliamentarians are from outside the state and the matter is not as grave for them and thus they probably decided to skip the meetings, she said''
On being asked about the poor attendance in the House on Thursday, R K Sinha, Rajya Sabha BJP MP told ANI, "Everybody should be present in the House because this matter is not only related to Delhi but many states like Bihar UP, Punjab, Jharkhand, and Haryana. I believe that if the government does not act immediately then it will turn into a very dangerous problem."
"I can not comment on MPs not present in the House during the discussion but public taking note of everything and clean drinking water, clean air should be included in fundamental right and we will bring a bill on it as well," Sinha further added.
Environment minister Prakash Javdekar addressed the nearly empty Rajya Sabha on air pollution crisis in Delhi on Thursday saying that several initiatives were taken by the Centre to tackle the problem at hand. The Environment Minister said that a comprehensive air plan for Delhi-NCR has been developed by the Central government in which a source-based approach is adopted. The 'source' refers to the major causes of air pollution. Soon after Javadekar's speech in the parliament, BJP MP Vijay Goel said that the air quality index was recorded at 370 on Thursday. He also said that the number of lung cancer patients has gone up by 10 per cent, according to Ganga Ram Hospital research.
(With inputs from ANI)