The Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, has termed 'nonsense' his Delhi counterpart, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal’s claim that stubble burning in his state was solely responsible for the high pollution levels in the national capital, and wondered can the AAP leader 'really' be an IIT graduate.
Taking a dig at Mr. Kejriwal for his 'preposterous' logic that the satellite pictures of stubble burning in Punjab was proof of it being the primary cause of the Delhi’s severe pollution, he said even a school kid would know better.
'Can he (Kejriwal) really be an IIT graduate,' he asked. In a statement issued here, Captain Amarinder Singh presented certain figures to rubbish Mr. Kejriwal’s 'ludicrous' claims and asked the Delhi Chief Minister to stop indulging in 'political theatrics' and check facts before blaming Punjab.
He said the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi remains more than 300 even during December and January every year, when there is no stubble burning in neighbouring states.
This clearly indicates that the Capital’s air quality is impacted by its own sources, which are predominantly vehicular emission, construction activities, industrial activities, power plants, burning of municipal solid waste and sweeping activities, Captain Singh said.
Terming Mr. Kejriwal’s comment as yet another attempt by the Delhi Chief Minister to divert public attention for his own government’s 'abysmal failure on all counts,' he alleged, 'Having failed to deliver on governance to the people of the national capital, the Chief Minister was, as usual, trying to take refuge in falsehoods and fabrications.'
Captain Singh also said according to the latest report on air pollution by the India Meteorological Department, winds over Delhi-NCR had changed from north-westerly to easterly, so there was hardly any influence from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.
'Yet, Delhi’s air quality continued to be ‘very poor’, with an average PM2.5 concentrations of 208 mg per cubic metres on November 2, which was caused mainly from local vehicular and industrial emissions.'
In particular, Delhi’s AQI crosses the 400 mark due to high emissions from activities of a large population in a confined area of NCR and inversion phenomenon of the climate. During October, the wind velocity became static and decreased to less than 2 km/hr, Captain Singh said, referring to available scientific data.
He asserted that had stubble burning been the reason for Ambient Air Quality deterioration then it should have impacted the air quality index of cities in Punjab in the first place.The data clearly indicated that Mr. Arvind Kejriwal’s government had 'failed'completely in addressing the problem of pollution in the national capital, he said, adding the Delhi Chief Minister was, 'quite obviously, hunting for scapegoats to put the blame for his own failures'.
He warned that the people of his state would not take politely the AAP leader’s attempts to pin the blame for his own 'failures' on their state.