CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ridiculed the claim of his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal that stubble burning in Punjab was solely responsible for high levels of pollution in the national capital, asking the AAP leader to stop indulging in political theatrics and check out the facts before shooting his mouth off.
Amarinder came out with a series of hard facts to rubbish Kejriwal's ludicrous statement, which he trashed as yet another attempt by the Delhi chief minister to divert public attention for his own government's abysmal failure on all counts. Having failed to deliver on governance to the people of Delhi, Kejriwal was trying to take refuge in falsehoods and fabrications, he said.
Taking a dig at Kejriwal for his preposterous logic that the satellite pictures of stubble burning in Punjab was proof of it being the primary cause of Delhi's severe pollution, Amarinder said even a school kid would know better. "Is he (Kejriwal) an IIT graduate?" he asked, pointing to the sheer irrationality of his Delhi counterpart's reasoning.
Venting his ire over Kejriwal's 'audacity' to call the picture scientific proof of his 'demented logic', Amarinder said had the Delhi chief minister bothered to check the data, he would have thought a hundred times before coming out with such a reckless statement.
Amarinder demolished Kejriwal's claim with recorded factual data and warned that the people of Punjab would not take politely to the AAP leader's attempts to pin the blame for his own failures on their state. He will see in the Lok Sabha elections what Punjab thinks of him and his AAP, Amarinder said, asking Kejriwal to be prepared for a treatment worse than what he experienced in the state in last year's Assembly polls.
Amarinder pointed out that 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 the environment in the capital city is impacted by its own sources within Delhi, which are predominantly vehicular emission, construction activities, industrial activities, power plants, burning of municipal solid waste and sweeping, he added.
Further, Amarinder pointed out that as per the latest report of air pollution forecast by Weather Research and Forecasting Model of the India Meteorological Department, winds over Delhi-NCR had changed from north-westerly to easterly. So, there was hardly any influence from crop fires in Punjab and Haryana, he said.
Yet, Delhi's air quality continues to remain poor, with average PM2.5 concentrations recorded at 208 micrograms per cubic metres on November 2. The situation has been blamed on local vehicular and industrial emissions.
As far as stubble burning incidents are concerned, Amarinder said that the number of such cases till November 3 was 25,394, against 30,832 reported last year - clearly showing a decreasing trend.