AAP slams UP, Haryana, Punjab Rajasthan for ‘failing to control stubble burning’
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and Congress-led governments in Punjab and Rajasthan of failing to control cases of crop residue burning, one of the major contributors to air pollution in the Capital during winters.
“The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has found that the Congress-ruled states Punjab and Rajasthan, and BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have done nothing to prevent stubble burning. The governments in all these states have failed to subside and provide machinery to farmers to prevent stubble burning,” said AAP’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj in a press conference at the party head office in central Delhi.
He further said, “The Commission for Air Quality Management has rejected plans submitted by Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan for controlling stubble burning and taken note of the absence of any groundwork on part of the governments in these states. The Commission has warned that if the third wave of Covid-19 coincides with stubble burning pollution, then it may prove fatal.”
Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are going to the assembly polls early next year and the AAP is contesting in both states. On August 25, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced that police cases registered against farmers for stubble burning will be withdrawn by the government.
Ahead of the harvesting season, CAQM on August 22 asked Delhi and neighbouring states to ensure the adoption and application of a standard protocol developed by ISRO for estimation of crop residue burning events using satellite data.
The commission, mandated to devise and execute plans to prevent and control air pollution in the national capital region and adjoining areas, has also asked Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to develop a time-bound comprehensive action plan, in consultation with stakeholder agencies responsible for monitoring and reporting of crop residue burning events, based on the protocol.
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said, “Bhardwaj’s comments on pollution due to stubble burning in neighbouring states is an excuse to ultimately evade responsibility of stopping stubble burning in Delhi. It is surprising to see Bhardwaj blaming the four neighbouring states but remaining silent on what the Delhi government is doing to help them curb pollution due to stubble burning. Farmers there are forced to burn stubble as it is economically not possible for them to get it removed from their lands. Delhi has crores of rupees of surplus environment fund, then why doesn’t it extend a financial package to neighbouring states to help their farmers remove stubble instead of burning it.”