NEW DELHI: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday targeted the BJP and the Congress on the issue of stubble burning, saying the share of farm fires in Delhi’s pollution has soared to 40 per cent but the opposition parties are in denial.
According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, the share of stubble burning in Delhi’s pollution rose to 40 per cent on Sunday, the maximum so far this season.
It was 32 per cent on Saturday and 36 per cent on Thursday, the second-highest this season so far.
“We have been saying it again and again that stubble burning is a major reason behind severe levels of pollution in Delhi around Diwali, but the BJP and the Congress say the share of farm fires in Delhi’s pollution was just 4 to 6 per cent, whereas statistics show it has increased to 40 per cent,” Rai told reporters during the launch of “Red Light On, Gaadi Off” campaign in all 272 wards of Delhi to curb vehicular pollution.
He said the Delhi government has been doing everything possible to curb biomass burning, and vehicular and dust pollution, “but what should we do about stubble burning?”
Last year, the stubble contribution to the national capital’s pollution had peaked to 44 per cent on November 1, according to SAFAR data.
NASA’s satellite imagery showed a large, dense cluster of fire dots covering Punjab and parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
(With PTI inputs)