AAP slams Centre, Punjab, Haryana for Delhi’s air pollution

New Delhi: AAP on Tuesday slammed the Center and the neighbouring states for not taking stern action in view of increasing stubble burning cases this year in Punjab and Haryana, which has resulted in a huge spike in Delhi’s air pollution.

“The Centre, Punjab and Haryana need to come together and take stern action against stubble burning, only then the issue of air pollution could be solved. Delhi alone cannot single-handedly combat this pollution,” Atishi told media persons.

“All the emergency actions are being taken in Delhi. From next week, the Delhi government will distribute free masks through schools. Odd-even scheme will also start, but the situation will not improve till the Centre, Punjab and Haryana governments remain silent,” she added.

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She said the Delhi government and its agencies have worked relentlessly to bring down the pollution level here. The Central Pollution Control Board data shows that 25 per cent decrease in pollution in Delhi has already taken place.

“But due to stubble burning in the neighbouring states this time, every work of the Delhi government like increasing the green cover, the road infrastructure and all other important measures goes in vain,” she said.

Senior AAP leader Dilip Pandey said: “According to data from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), the state recorded 9,600 incidents of stubble burning till October 27 last year. This year, the figure has shot up to 12,027.”

Punjab and Haryana recorded an increase of at least 2,400 farm fires, a major contributor to the air pollution in the national capital, till October 27, according to the government data.

He added that pollution is a very important issue for Delhi. “I want to clarify that the available data is saying something very different from what the BJP is claiming. A significant rise in stubble burning was recorded on October 26 and 27,” he said.

“While 2,805 cases were reported on October 26, the number on October 27 touched the 2,231 mark. Haryana witnessed 3,735 farm fires as compared to 3,705 last year. Last week’s satellite data shows that stubble burning incidents in India reached its maximum levels on October 26,” said Pandey.

“The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, on Monday predicted that the share of smoke from stubble burning in Delhi’s PM 2.5 concentration is likely to jump to 25 per cent on Tuesday. It was 15 per cent on Monday,” said Pandey.

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