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Delhi paying price of Centre's negligence: Gopal Rai on rising pollution

Delhi government is running the 'Red Light Campaign' to put a check on the toxic emissions

air pollution
FILE PIC: New Delhi's India Gate monument stands shrouded in smog in 2019. (Bloomberg)

As air quality continues to deteriorate in the national capital, Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday said that Delhi was paying the price of Centre's negligence as timely intervention by the government on the issue of stubble burning in the fields of Punjab and Haryana could have helped lowering pollution levels in the city.

"Had there been timely intervention by the Centre and had they listened to our proposal of bio decomposers which was successful in decomposing 90 per cent of stubble in Delhi, then perhaps Delhi could've been protected from 35-45 per cent of pollution due to stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana," Gopal Rai told ANI.

Justifying the ban imposed on bursting firecrackers during the on-going festive period in the city, the Delhi Minister said that the ban was necessary amidst rising pollution during the pandemic.

"Rise in pollution is affecting the respiration of people. In the wake of that, the Delhi government decided to ban crackers because people cannot do anything about the pollution coming from outside," he added.

In a bid to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from worsening due to increased air pollution, the Delhi government has banned all types of firecrackers from November 7 to 30. On Monday, Rao had said that if anyone violates the ban on firecrackers during Diwali, then the violator shall be penalised under the Air Act.

He also mentioned that the Delhi government is running the 'Red Light Campaign' to put a check on the toxic emissions from the vehicles and combat vehicular pollution.