‘Laughable’: AAP on Congress and BJP’s questioning on pollution control measures
The Congress asked why a report on the causes of Delhi’s pollution that was to be prepared by the state government in collaboration with Washington University had not been released.Updated: Oct 13, 2020, 03:26 IST
The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday questioned the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government on the measures it has taken to curb air pollution in the Capital, allegations which the party called “laughable.”
The Congress asked why a report on the causes of Delhi’s pollution that was to be prepared by the state government in collaboration with Washington University had not been released.
The 18-month-long study, announced in January last year, was aimed at collecting information which would help authorities not just to get a better idea of the chemical composition of Delhi’s pollution but also identify the source of pollutants in an almost real-time manner.
Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary said, “The report should have come earlier this year, but there is no sign of it yet. The government has so far not announced that the project has been delayed.”
Chaudhary said the Arvind Kejriwal government is “falsely blaming farmers” for the pollution in the capital. “They are trying to create confusion and fear among the people by blaming the farmers for the severe air pollution because of stubble burning without admitting the fact that a major source of pollution in Delhi is vehicular traffic. They are falsely blaming farmers. Even EPCA’s 2019 report says so. Studies done by The Energy Resource Institute and IIT-Delhi in the past few years say that vehicular pollution is the main contributor to pollution,” said Chaudhary.
Praveen Shankar Kapoor, Delhi BJP spokesperson, said, “The government has collected ₹1,259 crore as ECC [environment compensation charges]. What exactly has the government done with the money? It is about time, they tell the people about what measures they have taken to curb pollution.”
The state BJP said the AAP government claims about a funds shortage when it comes to the fight against pollution. “Why has the Delhi government not used the ECC funds to buy field residual (stubble) from neighbouring states?” Kapoor said.
The Opposition parties said little has been done to bring down vehicular pollution in the Capital. Chaudhary said, “The government has not taken strong steps to improve public transport fleet.”
An AAP spokesperson said,“These are laughable allegations There’s not a single thing that the Congress government in Punjab or BJP governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have done to control crop stubble burning or other major sources of pollution like themal power plants, despite repeated strictures from the Supreme Court. In fact this year, the number of farm fires has increased five times than the last year.”
“On the other hand, Kejriwal govt has been a pioneer in battling air pollution which has made Delhi the only city in India where pollution has decreased by 25% in last 5 years instead of increasing,” the spokesperson added.