Lok Sabha: Don't blame farmers alone for pollution in Delhi

Updated: Nov 20, 2019, 14:06 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Most participating members said vehicles, dust, construction and industries, power plants too are responsible for poor air quality and farmers of the neighbouring states of Delhi should not be blamed alone

TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh, wearing a mask for protection against 
air-pollution, speaks in the Lok Sabha. PIC/PTI
TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh, wearing a mask for protection against air-pollution, speaks in the Lok Sabha. PIC/PTI

New Delhi: Members cutting across party lines on Tuesday demanded in the Lok Sabha integrated action by the government to deal with air pollution while stressing that it was wrong to blame farmers alone for deteriorating air quality in Delhi. Most participating members said vehicles, dust, construction and industries, power plants too are responsible for poor air quality and farmers of the neighbouring states of Delhi should not be blamed alone. They demanded that the Centre as well as states should take tough measures to deal with the menace as air pollution was not only impacting Delhi but also various other cities of the country.

Participating in a discussion on "Air pollution and climate change", BJP member representing West Delhi Pravesh Verma slammed the AAP government in Delhi for blaming stubble burning for pollution in the National Capital Region and ignoring major pollutants, including vehicles and dust. Pinaki Misra (BJD) said stubble burning is not a major contributor of pollution in Delhi and the farmers should not be vilified. He suggested using stubble for bio gas and fuel to incentivise farmers against burning it.

Manish Tewari (Congress) 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 CM 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. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla pulled up officials from the DDA, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and those representing city municipal corporations on Tuesday for skipping a recent meeting of a parliamentary panel to discuss air pollution in north India. A meeting of a parliamentary committee on air pollution in the national capital is scheduled for Wednesday after the absence of most of its members and senior officials from its last meeting sparked outrage and raised questions over their seriousness in fighting the menace.

Speaker notes Rahul's absence

Taking note of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's absence from the House, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday said he had wanted to give a chance to the former Congress president during Question Hour. "His (Rahul Gandhi's) question was listed for the Question Hour and I wanted to give him a chance had he been present," Birla remarked when K Suresh got up to speak during Zero Hour from Gandhi's seat. The speaker asked Suresh to move to his designated seat and continue.

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