Kejriwal clears the air on pollution in defense of Delhi citizens

Business Insider India

  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a press conference today to say that Delhi citizens are not to be blamed for the city's drastic change in air quality.
  • He said that neighbouring states must be held accountable for the smoke from stubble burning that's deteriorating Delhi's air.
  • Kejriwal has asked Haryana, Punjab and central government to lay out a timeline and initiatives that they will take to counter the problem.
Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, held a press conference today evening to address the rising level of air pollution in India's capital.

"We cannot curb pollution by abusing the citizens of Delhi. It's unfair to only blame them," said Kejriwal. He explained that while there is "deep concern" surrounding Delhi's air quality, neighbouring states also have to be held accountable.

The air in Delhi has need a sharp decline over the last month. According to data shared by Safar India, Delhi's ranks 'severe' on the Air Quality India (AQI) with a PM count of 423. So far, this is the worst PM count of the season with PM 2.5 at 273 and PM 10 at 421.

Putting the entire blame on the citizens of Delhi takes away from the seriousness of the issue, according to Kejriwal.

Kejriwal also pointed out that while the air quality in Delhi has been drastically affected between September 30 to November 30, nothing in Delhi itself has changed. "It's not there are 1 crore more vehicles or that 10 lakh industries have come up over night. Only one thing has change and that is the fumes from stubble burning in neighboring states," he said.

"We want specific timeline from the governments of Haryana, Punjab and the central government on immediate steps to deal with stubble burning," Kejriwal added.

The odd-even scheme, Delhi ki Diwali initiative, banning the entry of trucks, restricting night-time construction and circulating masks are initiatives that are already underway.

"We are already doing what we can to counter the problem, at least to address the things that are under our control... This is not to say that there isn't more to be done but Delhi citizens are doing their best," said Kejriwal.

Weather experts are hoping that increased wind speeds starting tomorrow might help disperse the pollutants from the city.

"The capital city must look like a capital," stated Kejriwal.


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