Under fire for supporting stubble burning in Punjab, leader of Opposition and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, Sukhpal Khaira on Friday said the smog in Delhi is being caused by industrial and vehicular pollution.

“The burning of stubble in Amritsar and Gurdaspur doesn’t reach Delhi. There are other causes of huge smog in Delhi. This smog is not because of stubble burning but due to industrial and vehicle pollution,” Khaira told media.

“Farmers in Punjab are dying or are committing suicide because of colossal debt. Why is the government not implementing the National Green Tribunal order? The Government of India and the Punjab Government have been clearly directed to create a mechanism, give the farmers heavy tractors on rent. The government has done nothing in the last two years,” he added.

Even as the AAP chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has blamed stubble burning for  the thick, toxic fog that has enveloped the national Capital over the last few days, on October 15, Khaira led a farmers’ protest in Ludhiana and burnt paddy stubble.

He also opposed the Punjab government’s decision to book farmers allegedly involved in stubble burning.

With stubble burning triggering a major smog crisis in the northern belt of the country, Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh has again written to Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, seeking compensation for farmers for crop resident management to check the dangerous trend of stubble burning.

He has also requested the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of CMs of the affected States along with the Union Ministers for Agriculture, Food and Environment on the issue.

Reiterating his request, as raised earlier on July 5 2017, CM Amarinder has sought PM Modi’s intervention for arresting the problem of paddy straw burning by providing a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal as incentive to compensate the farmers to manage the crop residue scientifically.

The CM pointed out that most of north India, including the national capital New Delhi, is currently in the throes of a pollution crisis, induced largely by burning of paddy straw in the paddy-growing areas of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.