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Call urgent meeting on bad air, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai tells Centre

Gopal Rai during a press conference said the people of Delhi are choking thanks to the negligence of Centre and neighbouring states.

Published: 08th November 2021 07:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2021 07:51 AM   |  A+A-

People commute during a foggy morning, in New Delhi.

People commute during a foggy morning, in New Delhi. (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Sunday wrote to Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav demanding an “emergency meeting” of states neighbouring Delhi to immediately implement solutions to curb stubble burning, the smoke from which has been suffocating the city.

Rai during a press conference said the people of Delhi are choking thanks to the negligence of Centre and neighbouring states. “Delhi is turning into a gas chamber once again. I have written to the Union environment minister seeking his attention to the despicable state of affairs,” he said. 

Rai said a total of 21,623 stubble burning incidents have been recorded through NASA imagery in Punjab, Haryana and UP between November 1 and November 6. On November 5 alone, 5,728 farm fires took place in Punjab, Haryana and UP, which in addition with firecracker emissions made the situation lethal. 
The Delhi government has been appealing for a Joint Action Plan to address the issue. “The state governments have played spoilsport on our efforts,” he said. Rai further said as and when stubble burning incidents increased, the pollution levels of Delhi degraded. 

“On November 1, there were 2,077 stubble burning incidents and the AQI in Delhi was 281, which includes the pollution inside Delhi as well. On November 2, there were 3,291 incidents and the AQI was 303. On November 3, 2,775 incidents were recorded and the AQI was 314. A total of 3,383 incidents were reported on November 4, while the AQI was 382. The number of stubble fires shot up to 5,728 on November 5, and the AQI levels spiked to 462. The number of farm fires came down slightly to 4,369 on November 6, and the AQI came down to 437 and so on,” Rai further said. 



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