Kejriwal writes to Javadekar, says Delhi’s pollution puts nation in bad light
In his letter sent to the union minister on Saturday, Kejriwal said the high level of pollution was not only a health hazard for the citizens, but it also shows India in a poor light in the eyes of visiting dignitaries.Updated: Nov 02, 2019, 22:04 IST
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to union environment minister Prakash Javadekar, seeking his intervention in the air pollution crisis that affects the city every winter and asked for a concrete plan to deal with the issue of stubble burning.
In his letter sent to the union minister on Saturday, Kejriwal said the high level of pollution was not only a health hazard for the citizens, but it also shows India in a poor light in the eyes of visiting dignitaries.
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Delhi for an official visit. I wonder what impression would she carry of India with such high levels of pollution,” Kejriwal said.
“The images of international cricketers playing cricket wearing masks does not create a good image of India.” “I urge you to kindly look into the above issues. Let us all prepare a concrete, workable and time-bound plan to deal with the menace of stubble burning,” he said.
The chief minister pointed out that air pollution during this part of the year was not a Delhi-specific issue “It is a North India issue and, therefore, requires a North India solution. It is under your chairmanship that a North India solution can be found,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Javadekar criticised Kejriwal for allegedly “politicising” the issue of air pollution and asking school students to write letters to Haryana and Punjab chief ministers.
“Air pollution is a problem which has aggravated in 15 years and it is now effectively being remedied by the [Narendra] Modi government. We have started inter-state meetings of NCR ministers and officials,” Javadekar said.
Javadekar further said a solution to air pollution demanded sustained efforts and participation of all states. Javadekar’s office, however, did not specifically respond on anything regarding Kejriwal’s letter.
In his letter, the chief minister sought to know whether the Centre had done any impact assessment on machines distributed to farmers as an alternative to stubble burning, whether farmers are using those machines and had they worked in controlling stubble burning.
“What is the total number of machines required in each of the three states to ensure complete stoppage of stubble burning? Why is the Centre providing these machines in yearly instalments? At this rate, in how many years will the Centre provide requisite number of machines? Will the people of Delhi continue to suffer till then?” Kejriwal asked.
Pollution levels in Delhi and neighbouring cities dropped marginally on Saturday a day after the region recorded its worst air quality, forcing authorities to shut schools, ban all construction activities and declare a public health emergency.