Delhi Govt Criticizes The Centre For Unreliable Reports On Delhi Pollution
Delhi Chief Minister on October 17, Wednesday, criticized the Centre for the unreliable reports on Delhi pollution. He said that a Central government-run agency’s data suggested that stubble burning in neighbouring States is responsible for a maximum of 10% of Delhi’s pollution is “misleading” and reliant on “baseless guesses”.
CM Kejriwal remains adamant on his stand that the city’s pollution at this time of the year is mainly due to stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, which goes against the data from System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
Kejriwal said that the sudden increase of pollutants in Delhi’s air is due to stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab. However, reports and bulletins published by the government-run SAFAR showcased data that goes against this.
SAFAR, which comes under the Union Ministry of Earth Science, keeps a tap on air quality of different cities. The agency has been monitoring Delhi and coming out with daily bulletins on Delhi’s air quality. SAFAR showed that the stubble burning in the neighbouring states has contributed to Delhi’s pollution by 0% to 9%.
Addressing a Press Conference, CM Kejriwal said, “Some agency named SAFAR had said the day before yesterday [Monday] that it [contribution of stubble burning to Delhi’s pollution] is 1%. Today they are saying it is 10%. All these are just misleading. If they are saying it is 1%, then they should say what causes 99% of pollution.”
He said that air quality was good or moderate category for the last eight months and in the last seven days, there has been no large-scale increase in the number of vehicles or new dust sources.
“Whichever agency is giving such data, it is a sensitive subject and they should do it responsibly,” he said. “No one has source apportionment machine. No one is able to do source apportionment. Hava mei tukke chal rahe he [These are baseless claims]. This is not right,” he said.
Kejriwal told that the sudden spike in pollution is clearly a result of smoke coming from “outside”. “Till pollution from outside is not solved, Delhi will suffer like this in October and November,” he said.
However, BJP Delhi Chief, Manoj Tiwari quashed Kejriwal’s claims and said, “For the purpose of holding the neighbouring states responsible for pollution, fake satellite pictures of stubble burning are being shown which is actually of standing crops under a conspiracy.”
Kejriwal also shared the picture released by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Tuesday, which shows large scale stubble burning in adjoining states of Delhi. The Delhi government also banned generator sets, except for those being used in emergency services, on Tuesday, as the air quality in the city and adjoining areas slipped to “very poor” level with the rise in air pollutants.
“The image clearly demonstrates stubble burning points in Punjab and Haryana, along with other areas. Wind pattern forecast and variation in concentration of particulate matter charts are also being released. The image and charts are self-explanatory,” the environment ministry headed by Kailash Gehlot said in a statement.