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Congress accuses Delhi government of graft in purchase of masks


NEW DELHI: In a sensational charge against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government just months ahead of the Assembly elections, the Delhi Congress on Thursday claimed financial irregularities in the procurement of anti-pollution masks for school children.

The government recently started handing out masks to students of government schools in a bid to sensitise them on air pollution at a time it has been a big talking point in the national capital and protect them from the smog currently enveloping the city.

Casting aspersions on the motive behind the mask purchase, Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra said both the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government and the Arvind Kejriwal government were resorting to theatrics and blame game on pollution as opposed to doing anything relieve the residents from the harmful effects of the city’s worsening air quality.

“While the government only spent Rs 10 crores for acquiring anti-pollution masks for children, it shelled out Rs 40 crores for running pollution-related advertisements. The manner in which the masks were procured raises serious questions. We demand CBI investigation to unravel the truth,” Chopra said.

“The masks that are meant to protect school children from air pollution are not effective. They barely last three hours. We want to know how many masks the government purchased and how many were given away.

The government is extending monetary benefits to its volunteers in the name of the ‘Odd-Even’ plan. They are being paid Rs 600 per day,” Chopra alleged.