NEW DELHI: Claiming that stubble burning and pollution in north India have a “very strong correlation”, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday attributed the improvement in air quality to dip in cases of farm fires.
Kejriwal and the ruling AAP have criticised stubble burning in neighboring Punjab and Haryana as one of the major reasons for high levels of air pollution during winters in Delhi.
“As soon as stubble burning began in the first week of Oct, the AQI started rising. Now that burning is coming to an end, air quality is also improving,” he tweeted.
His tweet came in reply to pictures of farm fires posted by Jasmine Shah, vice chairman of Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC), a policy think tank of the state government.
In another tweet, the chief minister said, “ A few people say that stubble burning contributes only 5 percent to air pollution in Delhi. So with the reduction of only 5 per cent, has the air quality index improved from over 500 to 200?”
Central Pollution Control Board Member Secretary Prashant Gargava, said that stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana accounted for 44% pollution in Delhi.
“The crop residue burning has contributed to almost 44 percent of pollution to the national capital. Last year it’s share due to stubble burning was 38 percent,” he said.