AAP’s Gopal Rai accuses BJP of allowing crackers amid Delhi’s ‘severe’ pollution

| Updated: 14 November, 2023 1:33 pm IST
Air Pollution in Delhi (TNI photo by Sumit Kumar)

NEW DELHI: On Tuesday, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai attributed the ‘severe’ air quality index in the national capital to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He asserted that leaders from the party were encouraging the bursting of crackers, despite the Supreme Court’s prohibition.

Rai highlighted that the police forces in Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh (UP), supposedly under the party’s influence, did not effectively prevent the sale and detonation of crackers in the national capital region (NCR).

A day after Diwali, the air quality in the city once again reached the severe category, presenting a health risk to the residents of Delhi and its neighbouring regions.

“The BJP is trying to hide its mistakes. I have heard the statements of many BJP leaders recently and all of them are trying to hush up their statements in different ways. There was no festival yesterday, so why were the firecrackers bursting yesterday? Where did they come from?

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“A BJP leader said that the AAP government failed to stop firecrackers. You have Delhi Police. SC had imposed the ban. Uttar Pradesh, Haryana Police are in your hands, then who has failed? This means you wanted crackers to burst,” Rai said.

He further mentioned that the Delhi administration has put into effect the anti-pollution measures outlined in GRAP-4.

“We had decided yesterday that the rules of Grap-4 will still be applicable. The campaign of water sprinkling will start at 12 noon today. The dust particles must be suppressed. The ban on vehicles will continue for now,” he added.

In the interim, BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla, criticised Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and held Punjab responsible for the pollution.

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“Once again, Delhi has become a gas chamber today… Arvind Kejriwal used to blame stubble burning in Punjab as the main reason in 2018… Nearly 2600 cases of stubble burning have occurred in Punjab in the last two days.

“What did the AAP government do in Punjab to stop this?… The main reasons for pollution in Delhi are internal… What was done for vehicular pollution and to control dust?” he said.

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