Tuesday, May 17, 2022
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Delhi Pollution Row: AAP Govt Accuses BJP Of Flouting Cracker Ban, Blames Spike In Stubble-Burning For Poor AQI

A day after pollution levels soared after Diwali, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai accused the BJP of ‘having ensured’ that crackers were burst in Delhi despite a ban on crackers announced by the government.

Delhi Pollution Row: AAP Govt Accuses BJP Of Flouting Cracker Ban, Blames Spike In Stubble-Burning For Poor AQI
Delhi air quality worsened on November 5 after Diwali PTI/File Photo

The Delhi government has announced that 20 anti-smog guns are being installed to tackle pollution in the national capital, as AQI levels touching the peak of 999 at several monitoring stations in the capital sparked another debate on pollution.

A day after pollution levels soared after Diwali, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai accused the BJP of ‘having ensured’ that crackers were burst in Delhi despite a ban on crackers announced by the Delhi government.

Rai also said in a statement that a major reason for alarming pollution levels was the sudden rise in incidents of stubble-burning in neighbouring states on Diwali day. “In the last week of October, there were 1000 instances a day of stubble burning. As per a NASA photo, since yesterday, more than 3500 instances of stubble-burning have been seen,” Rai said in his statement in Hindi.

Rai said that the Delhi government’s endeavor to reduce pollution in Delhi had seen a positive impact in October, a month that saw the least pollution when compared with data for the last five years. In the last three days, he added, pollution had climbed again.

Days back, former Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari had sought to know why the state government was trying to police a Hindu festival, tacitly accusing the Arvind Kejriwal government of being biased. Tiwari had said that the Delhi government expresses concern only over festivals of Hindus, adding that it should not “bulldoze matters of faith”. He had also said that the state government should allow green crackers rather than imposing a complete ban on crackers.

On his part, Rai accused the BJP of deliberating trying to ensure that crackers were burst on Diwali, at the same time thanking common residents for not bursting crackers.

While Delhi had imposed a ban on the sale and usage of firecrackers this Diwali, the Haryana government had banned the same in 14 districts in NCR adjoining Delhi. Punjab permitted the sale and usage of only green crackers. The Uttar Pradesh government also banned non-green crackers.

However, despite this, crackers were burst on Diwali, which, apart from a rise in stubble-burning incidents, is being seen as a major cause of the alarming rise of pollution levels since Friday morning.a

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