August 4, 2021 11:53:08 pm
Amid protests by Opposition parties over the Pegasus spying issue, the Lok Sabha passed two Bills on Wednesday.
The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas, Bill, 2021 — which seeks to set up a statutory authority with appropriate powers to tackle air pollution in NCR and adjoining areas — was passed amid Opposition sloganeering. Amendments moved by the Opposition on the Bill were rejected via voice vote.
“We know that for a long period of time, on the basis of orders by various courts, ad-hoc committees were created in Delhi. In recent times, the manner in which air pollution has occurred not just in Delhi, but also in the NCR, due to transportation, industry, or other reasons, there was a need to create an integrated institution. Through this, we can create such a system so that we can give an institutional form to prevent air pollution,” said Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav while moving the Bill.
The Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to create a post of ‘non-executive chairman’” for the board, was also passed without a debate later in the day.
Meanwhile, opposition protests over the Pegasus issue continued to disrupt the proceedings of the Lok Sabha and it was adjourned multiple times on Wednesday too. The first adjournment, for 15 minutes, took place at 11.15 am when MPs of Congress, DMK, Left parties and TMC rushed to the Well of the House. They shouted slogans targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanding a debate and a probe into the alleged snooping.
Speaker Om Birla took exception to some MPs holding placards in front of him in an attempt to show them to the cameras. “You are breaking the rules of the House and insulting the dignity of the Chair. This is not proper,” Birla said. “This is the wrong way.”
When the house met at 11:30, senior BJP leader Rajendra Agrawal took the Chair. The MPs returned to the Well with their placards. While Congress and TMC MPs tried to raise the placards in front of the Chair, Agrawal warned them: “Showing placards in front of the Chair is not fair. Please put it down. You cannot do this. This is not acceptable,” he said. He warned them not to “cross the limits”. The MPs didn’t oblige and proceedings were adjourned again for 15 minutes.
The House continued to see interruptions and was adjourned till 11 am on Thursday.
The opposition has been stalling proceedings since the House met on July 19 for the Monsoon Session. The Lok Sabha, however, has passed seven bills already amid the protests.