AAP leader Raghav Chadha and BJP leader Nalin Kohli.
AAP leader Raghav Chadha and BJP leader Nalin Kohli.

Rival politicians indulge in war of words over Delhi air pollution

ANI | Updated: Nov 04, 2019 03:28 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 4 (ANI): As Delhiites are gasping for clean air, rival political parties have locked in a war of words with both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) indulging in a blame game.
Despite very mild showers in the early morning on Sunday, air pollution levels in the national capital escalated to hazardous level and visibility dropped significantly as a thick blanket of smog engulfed several parts of the city.
Notably, for the first time in this season, the Air Quality Index (AQI) docked as high as 625 at 10 in the morning. An AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401-500 "severe". Above 500 is "severe-plus emergency" category.
Speaking on the deteriorated air quality of Delhi, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI, "It is a matter of severe concern. The air quality is terrible. Everyone is very worried about it. But, we need to recognise that certain important steps should have been taken by the state government in Delhi."
Arvind Kejriwal-led government in the national capital has decided to bring back the Odd-Even scheme from November 4-15 to tackle the situation, however, BJP has opposed the move.
Kohli continued, "Odd-Even will be for a few days, it's only for cars. Other vehicles have been exempted because public transport has not grown in this city. Why the buses have not come on the roads in the last five years when they were promised? These are things which the Delhi government should have done... The central government does what it has to do, but whichever comes into the domain area of the state governments, they need to do it. They can't indulge only in a blame game."
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel had said that he will hold a symbolic protest against the Odd-Even scheme of the Delhi government and will ride through the streets of Delhi on Monday in his car to oppose the move.
"I will oppose Odd-Even. I will hold a symbolic protest to send out a message to the people that Odd-Even is of no use. What I will do you will come to know only tomorrow. All the pollution controlling agencies have said that banning cars alone will be of no use," Goel had said while speaking to ANI here.
While on the other hand, AAP leader Raghav Chadha opined that one of the big reasons behind the deteriorating air quality in Delhi is stubble burning in neighbouring states.
"In the months of October and November, the air in Delhi becomes poisonous. This happens primarily because of stubble burning in neighbouring states. It is now that AAP, who is claiming this. SAFAR, which is an arm of the union government, has put out figures saying that the contribution of stubble burning in making Delhi's air poisonous is at the very least 46 per cent," Chadha told ANI.
Citing few more examples of independent bodies, he added, "When everybody is saying that air pollution is happening because of stubble burning, why isn't the Centre acting on it? I welcome the intervention of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on the matter. He has written to the Prime Minister and he also in that letter acknowledged conceded that yes, stubble burning is a very big issue."
Chadha also slammed Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar for "criminal negligence, apathy and contempt towards the people of Delhi."
"He is behaving like Dhritarashtra," Chadha said.
Meanwhile, Odd-Even restrictions will be in place starting Monday till November 15, except for November 10, which will be Sunday.
Under the Odd-Even scheme, the vehicles with odd last digits (1,3,5,7,9) in the registration number will be allowed on roads on odd dates and those with even last digit (0,2,4,6,8) will be allowed to ply on even dates. The rule will be applicable in Delhi from 8 am to 8 pm, except on Sundays. (ANI)