Chandigarh, November 2: Taking strong cognizance of the Delhi Chief Minister Mr. Arvind Kejriwal’s statement to blame Punjab farmers for Delhi air pollution, the Punjab Environment Minister O.P. Soni today asked that before blaming Punjab, Kejriwal should rather look for the internal reasons of Delhi air pollution as mentioned by the National Green Tribunal in its directions in Vardhaman Kaushik case.
Addressing the media persons here, he suggested that Kejriwal should see the scientific facts & logics before blaming hardworking farmers of the Punjab, who have opted various means offered by the government to manage paddy stubble disowning the old practice of burning it in open fields.
Elaborating details, he said that the average air quality index (AQI) of Punjab in the month of October remained below 170, while in Delhi it remained above 350. The average wind velocity remained below 1.5 km per hour and wind direction was from South East and going to North West but not towards Delhi. He claimed how can the air pollutants reach Delhi, which is about 250 Km from Punjab border and that too crossing whole of Haryana, which is burning its stubble in open fields? He was surprised to see that Mr. Kejriwal has exonerated Haryana because of certain political considerations though all the adjoining states of Delhi are burning their stubble in open fields. “If farmers of the state polluted air quality of Delhi, then how can adjoining union territory Chandigarh be survived”, he asked.
Soni further said that paddy is sown in 65 lac acres in Punjab and till date only 21000 fire incidents have been reported which are just 323 fire incidents per one lac acre. If the average is calculated per village, it is just less than 2 fire incidents per village. Mr. Kejriwal must not blame Punjab farmers without going through the scientific facts, figures and logics. He said that due to awareness amongst farmers, this year fire incidents reduced 35 percent than of the last year, while average air quality index of the state reduced to 105 points i.e. 170 than of 275 points of last year.
Soni advised Kejriwal not to go for blame game but to find out the reasons of air pollution within Delhi and try to get those reasons rectified so that Delhites may breath in fresh air.