New Delhi: Stubble being burned at an agricultural field on the outskirts of New Delhi on Oct 16, 2019. The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government has been blaming the severe air pollution in Delhi on these stubble burning activity. Since the. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Oct 18 : Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party on Friday said the Central Pollution Control Board has blamed the people of the national capital for a surge in pollution levels in the city.

The AAP has also asked the body to publish a comprehensive report including shares of all factors causing pollution here.

AAP Delhi convenor and Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai said it is time to find out the reasons of pollution in Delhi and solve the problem instead of playing blame games.

The party urged the CPCB to come out with comprehensive data including all factors of Delhi's pollution.

"I want to request the CPCB to present an analysis report which will include the share of pollution from dust, motor vehicle, industries, burning, stubble burning and others," said Rai.

The statement came as a reaction to the claim of the CPCB that in Delhi only seven per cent of pollution is caused by the stubble burning in neighbouring states.

Rai said in the last few days there is a spike in Delhi's pollution levels and some of the agencies have become hyperactive with the claim that the people of Delhi are responsible for this spike.

"We are not understanding why without finding out the reason for the pollution spike the agencies are so active in claiming that stubble is not causing this pollution spike," Rai said, suggesting the agencies should look for the solutions to the problem.

He further said SAFAR data claimed only two per cent of Delhi's pollution spike is due to the stubble burning in the neighbouring states.

"The CPCB is claiming that stubble burning causes only a seven per cent spike in pollution and the Supreme Court-appointed committee headed by Bhure Lal is claiming that 10 per cent spike in pollution happens due to stubble burning. Whereas, TERI claims that 64 per cent of pollution in Delhi is external." Rai said that the AAP believes that whatever be the data, it is not going to help people.

"The job of these agencies is to find out and solve the problem of pollution and not to act as machinery to suppress the failures of the neighbouring states," he added.

AAP National Spokesperson Raghav Chadha too released a statement saying Delhi has both internal and external sources of pollution, but blaming just the people of Delhi is completely wrong and uncalled for.

"September, 2019 was the best September in terms of air quality in the last nine years. The Air Quality Index (AQI) of the last 7-8 months was at good and moderate levels. There has been no drastic expansion or influx of industries and vehicular traffic over the last 15 days in the city which would increase pollution by leaps and bounds. The internal sources of pollution between September and October have not changed. Only the external source of stubble burning from neighbouring states has caused this sudden spike in air pollution," he said.

He added that the CPCB's statement was a classic case of political misuse of supposedly independent institutions.

"It is behaving like a spokesperson of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. By totally ignoring the role of stubble burning in the spike in air pollution in the national capital, the CPCB is giving a clean chit to neighbouring states, despite their utter failure in ending the practice of stubble burning. There appeared to be no other motive of today's press conference but to defend the governments of neighbouring states and blame the people of Delhi to score political points against AAP." Chadha also said this is an insult to the citizens of Delhi.

"Since the CPCB is under the Centre's control, the CPCB's statement attacking the people of Delhi is an effort to denigrate the image of the people and the government of Delhi." He demanded that the CPCB must explain to people the basis of its claims.

"No agency, Central or state, has had the courage or the willingness to take strong action against stubble burning in neighbouring states of Delhi. While they should be prioritising providing alternatives to farmers so they refrain from burning stubble, they are blaming the people of Delhi for the increase in the pollution. The agencies are handcuffed by the Centre's myopic refusal to recognise that stubble burning is one of the most devastating culprits of air pollution," chadha said.

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