Stubble burning: AAP says Centre accepted in SC

A farmer burns paddy stubble at a farm, near Faridabad, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The AAP on Thursday claimed that the Centre has accepted in the Supreme Court that stubble burning led to a rise in pollution in Delhi post-Diwali and blamed BJP leaders for politicising the sensitive issue and defame the Delhi government.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said in its affidavit, the Centre has accepted that stubble burning incidents have increased in Punjab and Haryana and that caused a spike in pollution after Diwali in Delhi.

He said the central government has also accepted that before Diwali, the pollution situation was under control but after Diwali, due to the stubble burning, the air quality reached the 'severe' category.

Bhardwaj said that the Centre's affidavit further noted that in Punjab, the target of giving machines that are an alternative to stubble burning was 7,600 while the government received applications from 7,829 people. They, however, distributed machines only to 2,657 people, he said.

"Similarly in Haryana, the target was to distribute 15,343 such machines, the government received applications from 51,274 people and distributed only 5,113 machines.

"In Uttar Pradesh, the target was of distributing 4,077 machines, the government received applications from 1,918 farmers and distributed only 1,391 machines," he said.

AAP Rajya Sabha MP and senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the BJP should apologise to the people of Delhi for politicising a sensitive issue like pollution.

"Today is the day when the BJP should say sorry to the people of Delhi because of their lies. The affidavit filed in the Supreme Court clearly says that the spike of pollution in Delhi happened due to stubble burning and the Delhi government has been saying that for a long time but the BJP defames the Delhi government," Singh said.

He said the AAP believes that this is the time when strong action should be taken against BJP MP Vijay Goel and Amit Shah because their party has defamed the Delhi government and always said wrong things about Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's work to curb air pollution.

Slamming the BJP over violation of the odd-even rule, the senior AAP leader and national spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said "on behalf of the Aam Aadmi Party I demand that Delhi police should register an FIR against MP Vijay Goel because of violation of the rules of odd-even as implemented by the Delhi government".

Lashing out at the authorities for failing to curb severe air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region, the Supreme Court Wednesday said it is a question of life and death of crores of people here but it is "very unfortunate" that they are not bothered about poor people and letting them die.

"Can you permit people to die like this due to pollution? Can you permit the country to go back by 100 years," observed a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra while directing the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to provide support of Rs 100/quintal within 7 days to small and marginal farmers who have not burned the stubble.

Coming down heavily on the state governments, the top court said that if they don't bother about people, they have no right to be in power.

The bench also directed the Centre, the three states and Delhi to prepare a comprehensive scheme within 3 months to take care of environmental issues.

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