The blame game between the ruling AAP in Delhi and BJP continued on Monday amid severe air pollution crisis, with both parties holding stubble burning in states ruled by the other as cause of the health scare in the national capital.
AAP chief spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar alleged in a press conference on Monday that paddy stubble (parali) burning in Haryana was responsible for air pollution in Delhi and BJP government in the state did nothing to prevent farm fires.
Hitting back, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva claimed there were over 3,000 stubble burning incidents in AAP-ruled Punjab on Sunday while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was busy with ”political tourism” in poll- bound states.
”Kejriwal has turned Delhi into the city of smoke. There were 3,230 incidents of parali burning in Punjab on Sunday alone but Kejriwal has kept mum over it because his party rules in the state,” Sachdeva charged.
People are choking due to air pollution in Delhi but Kejriwal’s priority is ”political tourism”, he said and added that immediate steps were needed to combat the crisis.
Sachdeva further alleged that damaged roads, dust and farm fires in Punjab were the major factors behind the high level of air pollution in the city.
Kakkar, on the other hand, claimed that stubble burning in Haryana’s Sonipat, Panipat, Rohtak was leading to smoke that was reaching Delhi but the Khattar government was doing nothing to check it.
”In Haryana, parali is burning at 100 km away from Delhi while stubble is being burnt in Punjab 500 km away from the national capital,” she said.
She charged that Haryana did not do anything despite getting fund from the Centre to prevent burning of paddy straw, while Punjab even without getting funds reduced stubble burning by 50-67 per cent as compared to last year.
She also alleged that BS III and BS IV buses, industrial units and use of diesel generators due to long power cuts in Haryana were also contributing to pollution in Delhi.
Delhi BJP secretary Harish Khurana on Monday said that farm fires in Punjab was the main reason behind the worsened air quality in Delhi in last 8 days.
”There were 17,000 incidents of parali burning in Punjab in last one month out of which 13,000 were reported in last 8 days alone. On Sunday alone, there were 3,230 farm fires in Punjab, while in Haryana there were only 150 incidents of stubble burning the same day,” Khurana claimed.
Pollution levels in Delhi-NCR on Monday morning were recorded around seven to eight times above the government-prescribed safe limit, as a toxic haze persisted over the region for the seventh consecutive day.