Small farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh should not be vilified for stubble burning as it is not a major cause of pollution in Delhi NCR region, members of the BJP, Congress and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) claimed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Participating in a discussion on "pollution and climate change", BJP member representing West Delhi Pravesh Verma took on the AAP government in Delhi for blaming stubble burning for pollution in the National Capital Region and ignoring major pollutants, including vehicles and dust.
BJD's Pinaki Misra said stubble burning is not a major contributor to pollution in Delhi and the farmers should not be vilified. He suggested using stubble for biogas and fuel to incentivise farmers against burning it. Manish Tewari of the Congress party, too said stubble burning is not a major pollutant in Delhi and adjoining areas, hence small farmers should not alone be blamed for the present situation.
Verma, who blamed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for failing to curb pollution, was asked by the Chair not to name him. He alleged that the Delhi chief minister blamed stubble burning for pollution but did little to check vehicular and dust pollution. He claimed Rs 600 crore was spent by the Delhi government on advertisements but little was done to curb pollution. He alleged that by blaming villagers for pollution, he was only widening the urban-rural divide.
BSP president Mayawati on Tuesday said toxic air pollution is a "dreaded problem" which is not only threatening Delhi but the entire country, especially the densely populated Uttar Pradesh. There is a need to frame a concrete policy to tackle pollution and ensure its strict implementation in public interest, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said.
"Pollution is a dreaded problem which is threatening not only the national capital but the entire country especially most cities of densely populated Uttar Pradesh," Mayawati tweeted.
Urging those in power to take immediate steps to deal with the menace, she said it was important to understand the root causes of pollution. "Understanding the root causes of pollution and focussing on solving them is necessary. It would be better if the government pays immediate attention to this issue," she said during the session on pollution held in the Parliament on Tuesday. The Delhi AAP government had urged the BJP-led Centre numerous times to take steps to deal with the air pollution as it has blamed the stubble burning in the neighbouring states for the deteriorating air quality in Delhi.
(With PTI inputs)