Javadekar slams Kejriwal for Delhi pollution blame game

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. PTI Photo

 Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday attacked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for "politicising" the issue of air pollution and indulging in a blame game as the air quality in Delhi-NCR deteriorated further.

At an event to launch e-vehicles to tackle pollution in the city, Javadekar also slammed the Aam Aadmi Party government for not releasing funds for the construction of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway aimed at de-congesting traffic in the national capital.

Javadekar acquired electric vehicles for himself and his ministry saying it was "our duty to relieve the people" of contaminated air.

"The Delhi chief minister is politicising the issue of air pollution and is indulging in a blame game. I will not stoop to their level," Javadekar said. 

"I will only say that Rs 3,500 crore were to be released by the Delhi government for the Eastern Peripheral Expressway work but they acted only at the instruction of the court which directed them to immediately provide Rs 1,000 crore," he said.

In Delhi, where pollution spikes in winters, e-vehicles will provide relief as they do not release particulate matter, the Union minister said. 

"I am very happy that we are starting e-vehicles. I will also use it," Javadekar said.

He said the national e-mobility programme was launched under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018 to get 30 per cent e-mobility by 2030.

The programme is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a joint venture of the PSUs under the Ministry of Power. 

At present, there are 1,500 electric cars in five states across India, including Delhi, with 65 charging stations in the national capital alone, Saurabh Kumar, the managing director of EESL, told PTI.

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