Chandigarh: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today termed his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal’s claim that stubble burning in Punjab was solely responsible for the high pollution levels in the national capital as “nonsense”, wondering that 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 the primary cause of Delhi’s severe pollution, he said even a school kid would know better.
“Can he (Kejriwal) really be an IIT graduate,” asked the Punjab chief minister.
In a statement issued in Chandigarh, Amarinder Singh presented certain figures to rubbish the claims and asked the Delhi chief minister to check facts before blaming Punjab.
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The Punjab chief minister 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 the neighbouring states.
This clearly indicates that Delhi’s air quality is impacted by its own sources, which are predominantly vehicular emission, construction and industrial activities, power plants, burning of municipal solid waste, Mr Singh said.
Mr Singh also 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.”
He said according to the latest Meteorological Department report on air pollution, 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 microgrammes per cubic metres on November 2, which was caused mainly from local vehicular and industrial emissions, he claimed.
“What is more, the increase in concentration of PM2.5 due to stubble burning is proportionately less as compare to PM10. Thus, the contribution of stubble fire in the increase of PM2.5 is less, whereas, the Ambient Air Quality in Delhi witnesses an increase in the PM2.5 during the winter months,” the Punjab chief minister observed.
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 Punjab chief minister 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.