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Pollution Increasing In Delhi Due To Stubble Burning In Neighbouring States: Kejriwal

Kejriwal said that the Delhi government is doing every bit from anti-dust campaign to spraying of bio-decomposer liquid in fields to control inbound pollution, but the neighbouring states are yet to act.

A farmer burning stubble in a village in Haryana. (Photo Credit: PTI File)

New Delhi: As Delhi’s air quality plunged into the ‘very poor’ category on Sunday morning, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that increase in pollution was due to stubble burning in neighbouring states as state governments were ‘doing nothing’ to help farmers to stop it.

He appealed to the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to understand their responsibilities towards reducing stubble burning and controlling pollution. 

“For the past one month, I have been tweeting data of air quality in Delhi. Pollution has increased in the last three-four days and it is due to stubble burning in neighbouring states. Farmers in neighbouring states are compelled to burn stubble as their governments are doing nothing for them (towards stopping stubble burning),” Kejriwal said in an event organised to lay the foundation stone of a 1,430-bed new government hospital in Shalimar Bagh. 

The chief minister said that the national capital has two kinds of pollution, one is its internal pollution that emanates from vehicles, dust, etc, while the other is because of stubble burning in neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. 

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Kejriwal added that the Delhi government is doing every bit from anti-dust campaign to spraying of bio-decomposer liquid in fields to control inbound pollution, but the neighbouring states are yet to act.

“To stop stubble burning in Delhi, we sprayed bio-decomposer solution in fields. Farmers don’t need to burn stubble after spraying it. Why can’t state governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh spray this liquid?” Kejriwal asked.

“I request governments of neighbouring states to understand their responsibilities (towards stopping stubble burning) and help their farmers responsibly,” he said.

At 2 pm on Sunday, the AQI in Delhi was 339, which is in the ‘very poor’ category. 

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe.

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Earlier in the day, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai also reiterated similar concerns and said that air quality in the city is deteriorating because of increasing incidents of stubble burning in neighbouring states.

He also appealed for a responsible approach from governments of these states.

Rai said that it was a normal trend that as the incidents of stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh increase, the air quality starts deteriorating in the city. 

He further added, “Two days back the AQI was 171 but as the incidents of stubble burning increased in the neighbouring states, the AQI started getting worse and it was 284 on Sunday.

“We need a responsible approach from (neighbouring) states in reducing the number of stubble burning. They should make arrangements to spray bio-decomposer in their states so that pollution can be controlled,” Rai said.

He said that to control the city’s internal pollution, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has taken a number of measures, including spraying of a bio-decomposer solution in the fields and also cracking down on violators.

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“We have started an anti-dust campaign and are taking action against violators. From Monday, we will also launch the ‘Red Light On, Gadi Off’ campaign to reduce vehicular pollution,” he said.

“As a long-term solution, we are promoting electric vehicle policy and working on tree plantation issues. We have also shut coal operating Badarpur plan to reduce pollution,” the environment minister said.

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He also said that awareness campaigns such as appealing to the public to stop the use of private vehicles at least for one day are also started.

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