Delhi’s air pollution due to rampant construction: Punjab CM

New Delhi: A view of Rajpath engulfed in smog, in New Delhi

Chandigarh,  Terming the AAP’s proposed protest against stubble-burning in the national capital an obvious political stunt with an eye on the upcoming Assembly elections there, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday lashed out at his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal over his “brazen lies on the grave issue of air pollution”.

“The air pollution in the capital was directly related to the rampant construction activity, widespread industrialisation and total mismanagement of the city traffic,” he said, hitting out at Kejriwal for “trying desperately to divert public attention from his own government’s failures by indulging in such outright lies”.

“By blaming others for his own lapses, Kejriwal was showing signs of his poor leadership.”

Describing Kejriwal as a “shameless liar”, Amarinder Singh accused him of resorting to political gimmickry after failing to seriously address the pollution problem in Delhi in the past five years.

Now that Delhi was reeling under dangerously hazardous levels of pollution, the AAP chief had suddenly decided to turn his attention to the critical issue, said Amarinder Singh, questioning Kejriwal on the steps taken by his government to tackle the problem.

Kejriwal’s claim that “stubble burning in neighbouring states was responsible for the horrendous situation in Delhi was absolutely ludicrous”, especially considering that the number of farm fires in Punjab had actually been the same as last year, he said.

If stubble burning is the primary cause of Delhi’s air pollution, as Kejriwal claims, then how can he explain the atrociously high AQI in the national capital even during December and January, Amarinder Singh asked.

The Chief Minister asked Kejriwal to explain how he could blame Punjab when the AQI levels in the state, where the stubble fires were taking place, were much better than Delhi.

The sudden spike in pollution levels in Delhi post Diwali was quite evidently linked with firecrackers, which Kejriwal and his government failed to control despite the Supreme Court’s directives in this regard, he said, pointing out that the national capital’s PM2.5 concentration had, as per reports, actually been lower this year than in the past.