CM stresses on urgent action to curb farm fires
Writes To Centre, Counterparts In Haryana And Punjab
New Delhi: With many farm fires being reported in the last few days, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday sent a letter to his Punjab and Haryana counterparts and the Centre seeking “urgent and bold action” to deal with stubble burning during winter.
Kejriwal wrote that burning of crop residue in Punjab and Haryana was a big contributor to air pollution in Delhi in the months of October and November.
In his letter to Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Haryana CM ML Khattar, Kejriwal said his government was taking “local measures” and had already announced its action plan, including the odd-even road rationing scheme from November 4-15, to tackle air pollution.
He appreciated that the central and state governThese are pictures of our beautiful Delhi taken today, from the top of the Signature Bridge...It has been many years since I have seen such clear, blue skies ments were making efforts, but more was required to be done to stop pollution. “There is little that the people of Delhi can do to fight pollution due to crop stubble burning,” the CM said in his letter.
“Unfortunately, high levels of air pollution in the winter months in the entire north India puts to risk the health of all our people, especially children and the elderly. The gravity of this issue calls for bold, urgent action,” Kejriwal said, adding that the health of people was the foremost responsibility of any government.
Satellite monitoring data had reported more than 100 cases of farm fires in Punjab and afew in Haryana days after the Punjab and Haryana high court ruled that the two states cannot fine farmers for burning crop residue, official said.
In his letter, Kejriwal said Delhi was the only city in the country where pollution was on the decline, with the concentration of PM2.5 reducing by 25% in the last three years. The latest rankings of the most-polluted cities in the world brings home a harsh reality. Seven of the 10 most-polluted cities are in India. While Delhi ranks 11th on this list, the top three Indian cities are Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.
The AAP government had recently announced a sevenpoint action plan, including road rationing, community Diwali events, laser show and distribution of masks, to keep pollution levels in check and mitigate its effects in the national capital. The government has already begun consultations on the community Diwali events to encourage people to give up crackers and enjoy the festival with a laser show instead.