Kejriwal writes to Centre, Haryana, Punjab, calls for bold action to stop stubble burning in winters
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday, seeking his intervention into pollution-related problems and work on a concrete plan to deal with the issue of stubble burning.
Kejriwal noted that 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.
"What is the total number of machines required in each of the three states to ensure complete stoppage of stubble burning?" he asked.
The letter comes on a day Javadekar slammed Kejriwal for "politicising" the issue of stubble burning by asking school students to write letters to his Punjab and Haryana counterparts over pollution caused by such fires.
The chief minister sought to know whether any impact assessment had been done in areas where the machines were provided, and whether the farmers were using these and have they stopped 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.
"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.
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