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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Claim that stubble burning adds just 10% to Delhi pollution misleading: CM Arvind Kejriwal

The CM said the claim was “misleading” and asserted that no government agency had the specific machinery to measure either the component or causes of pollution.

delhi Updated: Oct 16, 2019 22:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Many areas in the Delhi-National Capital Region recorded air quality in the
Many areas in the Delhi-National Capital Region recorded air quality in the "very poor" category , with particulate matter less than 10 micrometres in diameter being the primary pollutant. Image used for representation.(PTI photo)
         

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday dismissed a central government weather and air quality service’s claim that stubble burning was responsible for only 10% of the city’s pollution.

The CM said the claim was “misleading” and asserted that no agency had the specific machinery to measure either the component or causes of pollution.

Kejriwal said government agencies should refrain from engaging in “guessing games”.

SAFAR, the union ministry of earth science’s air quality and weather forecast service, had in a recent report said the share of stubble burning in the PM 2.5 concentrations in Delhi was less than 10% so far.

“Agencies claiming little impact of stubble burning should behave more responsibly and sensitively about the figures and data they are sharing,” the CM countered in a statement.

The sources of pollution can only be measured using real-time source apportionment, Kejriwal said.

The CM said his government was trying to import specific machinery to measure real-time source apportionment, which is the only way to ascertain sources of pollution in Delhi.

“If we take a sample of air of this particular place, we can check the level of pollution and also measure the components of pollution like transport, stubble burning,” Kejriwal said.

He added, “How could have local sources contributed to the sudden spike in pollution? There has been no source apportionment of pollution by any of these agencies. These guessing games should be stopped.”

Kejriwal said though Delhi had internal pollutants, these were causing the same amount of pollution as in September and October. Nothing drastic had happened in the last few days that would result in increased pollution, except stubble burning that started a week back, he said.

On Wednesday, Delhi’s air quality plummeted to the “very poor” category, with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recording air quality index (AQI) at 304.