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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (ANI)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (ANI)

Centre, Delhi in war of words over air pollution

  • The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government believes that stubble burning in neighbouring states is the main reason behind spike in pollution during winters in the national capital region

NEW DELHI : Refuting Delhi government’s assertion that sharp spike in pollution levels in the national capital region (NCR) during winters is due to stubble burning, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said that it is not a major factor behind the air pollution.

Blaming it on the local factors, Javadekar said, “50 teams of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will be deployed for inspection in Delhi-NCR from today. Stubble burning contributes only 4% of pollutants in the environment of Delhi. Rest are due to local factors like dust, construction and bio-mass burning."

Over the last month, Javadekar held meetings with representatives of states from North India to discuss steps that can be taken to reduce levels of pollution.

In response to the Union minister’s comments, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that stubble burning causes huge pollution every year and blame game was not the response.

“Staying in denial will not help. If stubble burning causes only 4% pollution, then why has pollution suddenly increased last fortnite? Air was clean before that. Same story every yr. There’s no massive jump in any local source of pollution in last few days to cause this spike?," Kejriwal tweeted.

“Let’s accept that stubble burning causes huge pollution every year in North India during this time. And let’s all together find a solution sincerely. Blame game and politics hasn’t helped anyone. People are suffering. I am extremely worried that pollution will play havoc coupled with corona," he added.

Taking into account the local factors responsible for the air pollution, Delhi government has launched an anti-dust campaign and issued guidelines for construction sites. It has instructed all the concerned departments to take immediate action against any violation.

Also, Delhi government today launched a new campaign to encourage people to switch engines of their vehicles off while waiting at traffic signals. According to government estimates, it can reduce PM 10 emissions by 1.5 tonnes a year and PM 2.5 emissions by 0.4 tonnes a year.

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