Rejecting the reports published by multiple agencies claiming that stubble burning in neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh is responsible for only 10 per cent of the city’s pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday termed the reports ‘misleading.’
The Chief Minister raised questions on the basis of the analysis saying, “What is the basis of this? Real-time source apportionment of pollution machines can only tell us what contributes to how much pollution and the Delhi government is trying to procure it.”
“No one in India has that machine yet, so the reports can not be believed. These agencies should refrain from misleading people. These are very sensitive information and these agencies which are giving these details should act responsibly,” Kejriwal said while answering a question during his press conference at the Aam Aadmi Party’s office here.
The report by union ministry of earth sciences’ air quality and weather forecast service, SAFAR, which said in a recent report that the share of stubble burning in the concentration of tiny PM2.5 particles in Delhi’s air has remained less than 10 per cent so far.
“If air samples are taken on a real-time basis and found out what are the sources for the pollution, to what extent is, say, transport responsible, to what extent are other factors responsible, only if one has the particular machine can one determine the percentage of pollution to each and multiple sources,” said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister who has been taking credit for the low pollution levels in the capital during the last few months, went ahead to claim that no local pollutants have increased or decreased in the last few months and the sudden spike in pollution in the last one week is only due to external factors.
“We admit that Delhi has internal pollutants and these are causing the same amount of pollution as it was in September and October. Nothing drastic has happened in the last few days that would result in increasing the pollution except stubble burning which started a week back,” Arvind Kejriwal said. Many areas in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) recorded air quality in the ‘very poor’ category on Wednesday morning, with particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter being the primary pollutant.
Delhi government has also introduced the Odd-Even vehicle scheme which will be implemented from November 4-15 to tackle the rising menace of air pollution around the time of Diwali. “If you enforce Odd-Even for a long time, the implementation becomes troublesome. As of now, Odd-Even will only be restricted to this time frame,” said Kejriwal. The scheme exempts female drivers and people with disabilities.