New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday blamed the Centre, and the governments of Haryana and Punjab for the severe air pollution in Delhi, alleging that they were not ready to do anything despite the all-out efforts by the Aam Aadmi Party government.
“The pollution was in control in Delhi throughout the year, but this time (winters) every year, Delhi has to face severe pollution condition due to the Centre, BJP-led Haryana and Congress-led Punjab governments.
“Despite our all-out efforts, they are not ready to do anything. Farmers of these two states are also fed up with their governments,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted.
Meanwhile, Union environment and forest minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday hit back at Mr Kejriwal, saying his dispensation failed to undertake basic measures to curb pollution.
Mr Vardhan said Kejriwal “cannot absolve himself of the responsibility” by targeting the Centre and the state governments.
He said the Centre had undertaken a series of measures like Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for Delhi and the national capital region and setting up of air purifiers.
“This is your responsibility. We have been tracking farm fires with the help of satellites and if compared to previous years, it has been consistently going down. It is wrong to blame Haryana, Punjab and the Central government. Your work is being done by the Central government,” Mr Vardhan retorted.
He said while Mr Kejriwal was blaming others, his government was not even prepared to carry out basic pollution control measures such as stopping construction work that produced dust, sprinkle water on roads, undertake mechanised cleaning of roads and take action against illegal burning of garbage.
Delhi’s air quality continued to remain in the very-poor category with an overall air quality index of 348 today. Stubble-burning is a major reason for the increase in the air pollution levels in Delhi and NCR.
Amid deteriorating air quality in Delhi, authorities have asked 113 industries to shut for not converting to Piped Natural Gas (PNG), an official statement said Monday.
Of the 113 units, 67 are located in Bawana and Narela industrial areas, it said. Delhi’s air continued to remain in the “very poor” category on Monday with an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of 348.
In a meeting chaired by lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal, officials told the LG that 1,368 show cause notices and 417 closure directions have been issued against polluting units.