Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai inspects water being sprayed on trees as a pollution control measure, near Raj Ghat Bus Depot, in New Delhi.(Amal KS/Hindustan Times)
Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai inspects water being sprayed on trees as a pollution control measure, near Raj Ghat Bus Depot, in New Delhi.(Amal KS/Hindustan Times)

BJP instigating people to burst firecrackers, alleges Gopal Rai

Addressing the media, Rai said, “We want to appeal to the opposition to support us in fighting pollution. I also want to appeal to the people to light lamps and not firecrackers.”
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2020 01:19 AM IST

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday requested the opposition to join the government’s fight against pollution, saying unless the people of Delhi and political parties join hands, any action taken will not yield results.

Addressing the media, Rai said, “We want to appeal to the opposition to support us in fighting pollution. I also want to appeal to the people to light lamps and not firecrackers; this fight is nothing without the support of the people.”

“The two crore people of Delhi have to contribute and play their part to fight pollution. Our small contribution can create a big impact,” he said.

Targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rai alleged while the government had implemented a ban on firecrackers till November 30, which was later upheld by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), BJP leaders have been making statements to instigate the people of Delhi.

“Instead of supporting the government on this step to prevent the rise in pollution ahead of Diwali, BJP leaders are instigating people, especially youngsters. The BJP or the Centre has done nothing to control pollution in Delhi. I request the BJP to at least not provoke people and negate the efforts being made by the Delhi government,” said Rai.

Reacting to the minister’s allegations, BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said their leaders have said nothing to encourage people to burn crackers. “The allegation that BJP leaders are encouraging people to violate the cracker ban is a blatant lie. All we have said is that because the Delhi government had issued licences for the sale of green crackers (less polluting), hundreds of traders had invested in these and a sudden ban would make them suffer heavy losses. So, the Delhi government should partially compensate them,” Kapoor said

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