Stubble burning in Punjab converted Delhi into gas chamber: LG Saxena asks Bhagwant Mann to take "substantive" measures
New Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has slammed Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann over air pollution in the city and asked him to undertake "substantive" measures to control stubble burning alleging that it has converted the national capital "into a gas chamber".
The Delhi LG wrote to Mann on Thursday and said that the existing situation is a "violative of citizens' fundamental right to health and the right to life". "Request you to undertake urgent and substantive measures to control Parali (stubble) burning in Punjab, which has converted the national capital once again into a gas chamber," Saxena wrote.
"Apart from other things, the Government of NCTD has also gone out of the way to promote and publicize a 'bio-decomposer' for use by farmers, vide extensive and large scale advertisements in newspapers and television by spending crores of rupees," he added.
He further said that despite the initiatives and interventions, the cases of stubble burning particularly in Punjab have "not only continued unabated but increased tragically".
"It is surprising that despite these initiatives and interventions, the cases of stubble burning particularly in your State have not only continued unabated but increased tragically, severely affecting air quality in the National Capital amongst other places. In a democratic set-up, we in the government are expected to adopt a multi-modal and proactive approach to quell such foreseeable detriments to human health and life," he wrote.
The Delhi LG accused the Punjab CM of indulging in a blame game and "trying to shirk responsibilities".
"It is indeed baffling that instead of addressing the grave issue at hand, certain elements are indulging in unjustifiable blame game and excuses and trying to shirk responsibilities, even in the face of a serious crisis situation," he wrote.
Responding to the LG's letter, the Punjab CM accused him of playing politics by writing the letter.
"LG Sahib, you are stopping the works of the elected government of Delhi. Stopped the "Red Light On, Car Off" campaign and are doing politics by writing to me? Politics is not right on such a serious subject," Mann tweeted.
Earlier today, Kejriwal took responsibility for the stubble burning in Punjab.
"Pollution is not just Delhi's but entire Northern India's problem. The Centre has to come forward and take specific steps so that the entire North India can be relieved from pollution. Air pollution is a North India problem. AAP, the Delhi government or the Punjab government are not solely responsible. Now is not the time for the blame game. There should not be politics over such a sensitive issue. I admit there is stubble burning in Punjab," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal hoped that lot lesser incidents of stubble burning would be reported in Punjab by next year and said that steps are being taken for it.
"Farmers are not responsible for it. They want a solution. The day they find the solution, they will stop burning stubble. If there is stubble burning in Punjab, our government is responsible for it. We take responsibility for it. We have been in the government for only six months which is a very less period. The Punjab government has taken steps. I hope the stubble-burning incidents will be much lesser by next year," he said.
The Delhi CM's remarks come after the national capital reported the air quality in the 'severe' category for the second consecutive day. (ANI)