Delhi minister accuses official of stalling study on pollution, seeks his ouster | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Delhi minister accuses official of stalling study on air pollution in capital, seeks his suspension

Oct 25, 2023 05:39 PM IST

In a letter to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Gopal Rai demanded that DPCC chief Kumar be suspended for his "insensitive and irresponsible behaviour".

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday demanded the suspension of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) chairperson Ashwini Kumar, amid deteriorating air quality in the national capital.

In the letter shared by Aam Aadmi Party on its X handle, Rai said,"This winter air pollution is a crucial issue for the Delhi government that needs to be resolved at the earliest so that people of Delhi do not continue to suffer every year. However, there is no real time data available as to what source of pollution, is the cause of what percentage of pollution, at different times of the year".

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Rai said that the Delhi government decided to engage Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur for what he said is the first study conducted in the whole country to ascertain contribution of different sources to air pollution. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Delhi government and the IIT-Kanpur for the project worth 12.727 crore.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai during press conference in New Delhi on Monday.(HT Photo)
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai during press conference in New Delhi on Monday.(HT Photo)

According to the letter, Ashwini Kumar became the chairperson of the DPCC on December 15 last year. Rai wrote that the DPCC chief questioned the quality of research by IIT Kanpur noting that he did not believe in their reports.

“He (Kumar) further notes that the conclusion that Delhi is impacted by pollution from outside is a contrived conclusion and while biomass (parali) burning impacts Delhi, other anthropogenic activities within Delhi itself, including heavy load of vehicles drives pollution load in Delhi”, Rai wrote in the letter.

While questioning the decision to not release second instalment of approximately 60 lakh and not extend the MoU with the institution, Rai accused the DPCC chief of going out of his way to ‘halt works' of public good.

“He does not put forth any scientific basis for his conclusions. As the IIT-Kanpur report does not align with his idea of what causes pollution in Delhi, he is willing to sabotage the entire project with no care or concern for the people of Delhi and no respect for scientific research”, the minister added.

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