Delhi air quality: Environment min calls BJP’s justifications for bursting Diwali crackers ‘absurd’

Gopal Rai urges all states to collaborate in reducing incidents of stubble burning

Delhi pollution Mobile anti-smog guns spray water to curb air pollution after their flag-off by Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai at Delhi Secretariat | PTI

Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday said people associated with the BJP are offering "absurd" justifications for supporting firecracker bursting during Diwali, which resulted in a sharp spike in pollution levels in the national capital.

Rai also emphasised that the Delhi government plans to bolster its water sprinkling efforts by deploying additional water sprinklers and anti-smog guns in areas recording hazardous pollution levels. "The BJP alleges that the AAP government in Delhi failed to curb firecracker bursting. However, it's the BJP-controlled police in Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh that failed to prevent firecracker burning during Diwali, not the Delhi government," Rai told PTI.

"When questioned about firecracker bursting, a BJP leader attributed it to the unused environmental cess in Delhi. Is this the reason for instigating people to burn firecrackers?" Rai questioned.

"Another BJP leader, when questioned about the fireworks on the day after Diwali, claimed people were using the remaining firecrackers. These are all sorts of absurd justifications for firecracker bursting. There is a need for a change in their mindset," he said.

Rai said that the primary causes for the escalated pollution levels in Delhi currently include firecracker bursting, stubble burning, and a lack of stringent enforcement of measures under the final stage of the Centre's air pollution control plan, known as the Graded Response Action Plan.

He urged all states to collaborate in reducing the incidents of stubble burning.


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