After Delhi’s air quality hit the very poor category on Tuesday morning, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia blamed the Centre for not doing anything to combat pollution.
“Pollution, especially that related to stubble burning, is not an issue for Delhi alone. It is for entire North India. Unfortunately, central government did not do anything to resolve it,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
He also said that pollution and Covid have become “lethal” for people. “Centre sits idly all through the year, holds meetings around this time and then don’t do anything after that.”
On Tuesday, the city recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 304 at 9:30 am, which falls in the very poor category. The 24-hour average AQI was 261 on Monday, the worst since February. It was 216 on Sunday and 221 on Saturday.
According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi, an increase in farm fires in Punjab, Haryana and neighbouring regions of Pakistan is also going to impact the air quality in Delhi-NCR, according to PTI.
“Winds from north-west side where stubble is being burnt add to poor air quality conditions in Delhi-NCR,” Dr Kuldeep Srivastava, Head at Regional Meteorological Centre, Delhi, told ANI. “Moreover, low wind speed is another reason that pollutants are persistent here. Monsoon may bring relief.”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said state governments should stop blaming each other and work together to find a solution to the issue of stubble burning.
He said while farmers of neighbouring states and people of Delhi are bearing the brunt of stubble burning, governments have shut their eyes.
“I am worried about farm fires in neighbouring states. The smoke has started affecting Delhi’s air quality. Air pollution was under control for the last 10 months, but it has started increasing again,” the chief minister was quoted as saying by PTI.
“Imagine the impact of stubble burning on the families of farmers who have no option but to burn the crop residue. Farmers don’t burn it willfully,” he said.
Last week, the Chief Minister had launched a campaign against pollution and said the government has drawn up plans for the 13 pollution hotspots.
Under the campaign “Yudh Pradushan ke Virudh”, Kejriwal said various measures — launching the Green Delhi app, creation of a war room to monitor steps on a real-time basis — would be implemented, according to The Hindu.
(With PTI inputs)