AAP, BJP engage in war of words over rise in air pollution in Delhi
Delhi -With the national capital witnessing massive surge in the levels of air pollution in the morning after celebrations of the festival of Diwali, leaders from Delhi’s ruling AAP and BJP are engaging in heated debate over the critical situation.
Speaking with the media, Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai hit out at the BJP, accusing the party for instigating people to burst firecrackers on Diwali.
“A large number of people did not burst firecrackers. I thank them all. But some people burst firecrackers on purpose. The BJP made them do it,” he said in an interview.
The AAP minister also blamed stubble burning in states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for rising levels of air pollution in the city. The AAP also targeted Congress party over stubble burning in Punjab that is resulting in more pollution in Delhi-NCR.
“These two parties (BJP and Congress) are forming an alliance to allow stubble burning,” the Kejriwal-led party claimed, noting that Haryana and UP are BJP-ruled states while Punjab is run by Congress-led government.
BJP hits back
Responding to AAP minister’s remarks, BJP claimed that there are local factors in Delhi behind the rising pollution in the national capital. Addressing a media conference, BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma also lashed out at the Delhi government over the delay in establishment of smog towers across the city to monitor pollution.
“On December 2019, the Supreme Court had asked the Delhi government to erect smog towers within 3 months. It’s been more than nine months now, how many smog towers are installed? I want to ask the Government of Delhi what it is doing besides tweeting, accusing and just doing drama?” she said.
Pollution beyond recommended levels
According to the latest statistics released by the air quality forecast agency SAFAR of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, stubble burning resulted in 36 percent of Delhi’s Friday PM2.5 levels this season. The SAFAR also recorded Delhi’s overall AQI at 531, which denoted ‘severe’ pollution in the air.
On Thursday evening, citizens of the national capital violated AAP government’s ban on firecrackers in large numbers. Similar rise in pollution levels was recorded from cities bordering Delhi, including Gurgaon (478), Faridabad (460), Ghaziabad (450) and Noida (466) despite ban on bursting of firecrackers.