‘States must fix timelines to stop stubble burning’

Kejriwal criticises Goel, says he didn’t understand seriousness of the situation

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that the Haryana and Punjab governments should fix timelines to stop stubble burning in their States. He also criticised the leaders of Opposition parties for “blaming the people of Delhi” for an increase in pollution in the Capital.

Pollution levels are increasing day by day in Delhi and everyone could see how polluted the air of Delhi is, the Chief Minister said at a press conference.

Mr. Kejriwal then exhibited aerial pictures of the city — one dated September 30 which shows “a blue and clear sky” and the other from November 1 in which the “air is noticeably filled with pollutants” — to reporters to bolster his argument.

“To the leaders saying that pollution is not because of stubble burning, I want to ask, what could have possibly happened in one month? Nothing major has happened in the State, no major industries have opened, no new vehicles have come in, so there is no other cause of pollution in Delhi,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

“I am very concerned about the health of the people of Delhi and we are trying our best to reduce pollution...and have taken several measures in the last few months...A lot still needs to be done, but the blame game played by the Opposition parties against the people of Delhi should be stopped. The people of Delhi should not be blamed for the rise in pollution,” he said further.

‘Mocking people’

Expressing his “disappointment” in regard to the nature of criticism from his political opponents, Mr. Kejriwal said an Opposition leader was on a hunger strike for a day (in a reference to BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel), adding that “such things undermine the seriousness of this problem.”

He (Goel) didn’t understand “the seriousness of the situation” and was “mocking the people of Delhi” by doing so, the CM said.

“Starting Monday, the people of Delhi will be participating in the odd-even scheme. So, the Opposition leaders should not blame the people of Delhi...The people of Delhi are now fed up of pollution and hence we want specific timelines from the Haryana and Punjab governments as well as the Central government on stopping stubble burning,” he said further.

“We demand specific timelines and milestones on actions taken by these governments on stubble burning. They must also be answerable for their actions...Delhi is doing everything from distributing two masks each to every household to implementing the odd-even scheme in the Capital,” the Chief Minister said, adding that a University of Chicago study had revealed that the previous edition of odd-even had lowered pollution by 15%.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 11:26:47 AM |

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