Surjit Bhalla, India's representative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Monday commented upon the worsening pollution crisis in the country's national capital and said that it was damaging the country's image. Bhalla said that the pollution problem needs to be tackled with the help of agricultural policies. He also added that since most diplomats live in the capital, steps should have been taken early itself to address the issue.
While speaking to news agency ANI on Monday, Surjit Bhalla said, "The attention that we are getting as a country is bad attention. Out of the two types of publicity present, this is definitely the bad one. The fact that most diplomats live in Delhi, steps should have been taken to tackle the issue of pollution."
He continued, "The problem should not be denied. There is no point. It is a problem for both, the state and the Centre and we need to address it. Let us not get into blame-calling. This is not created overnight. This is for the last 25 years," he further stated.
Bhalla further said that the country's agricultural policy has played an important role in the increase in pollution. "The HLAG report suggests that we are in favour of opening up the agricultural sector and replacing the PDS and procurement system. Stubble burning has massively increased the pollution and it is surprising the state governments have not cooperated," he added.
As Delhi government's odd-even road scheme, an anti-pollution measure, kicked in from 8 AM on Monday in the National Capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that there was no pollution crisis earlier but in 20 days the pollution levels have risen suddenly because of the stubble burning in the neighbouring states. Kejriwal added that the people of Delhi cannot do anything about the stubble burning but what is in their hand is reducing the pollution in Delhi due to vehicles and they have accepted the Odd-Even scheme happily.
(With ANI Inputs)