It’s AAP versus BJP over Delhi air pollution

Kejriwal calls Central govt.’s data on pollution as ‘misleading’ and ‘baseless’

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that a Central government-run agency’s data suggesting that stubble burning in neighbouring States is responsible for a maximum of 10% of Delhi’s pollution is “misleading” and reliant on “baseless guesses”.

The Delhi government has been maintaining that the city’s pollution at this time of the year is mainly due to stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, which goes against the data from System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

SAFAR, which comes under the Union Ministry of Earth Science, monitors air quality of different cities. The agency has been coming out with daily bulletins on Delhi’s air quality and it also has the percentage contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to Delhi’s air pollution. The contribution has ranged from 0% to 9% from October 9-16.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Kejriwal said: “Some agency named SAFAR had said day before yesterday [Monday] that it [contribution of stubble burning to Delhi’s pollution] is 1%. Today they are saying it is 10%. All these are just misleading. If they are saying it is 1%, then they should say what causes 99% of pollution.”

He said that air quality was in good or moderate category for the last eight months and in the last seven days, there has been no large-scale increase in number of vehicles or new dust sources.

“Whichever agency is giving such data, it is a sensitive subject and they should do it responsibly,” he said. “No one has source apportionment machine. No one is able to do source apportionment. Hava mei tukke chal rahe he [These are baseless claims]. This is not right,” he said. Mr. Kejriwal said that the sudden spike in pollution is clearly a result of smoke coming from “outside”. “Till pollution from outside is not solved, Delhi will suffer like this in October and November,” he said.

Meanwhile, hitting out at the AAP, BJP Delhi Chief, Manoj Tiwari, said, “For the purpose of holding the neighboring states responsible for pollution, fake satellite pictures of stubble burning are being shown which is actually of standing crops under a conspiracy.”

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 6:27:48 PM |

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