New Delhi: Lt Governor V K Saxena on Thursday targeted AAP governments in Delhi and Punjab over air pollution in the city, saying Delhi can do little to stop smoke from stubble-burning from other states.
He also highlighted that the problem in the national capital can be mitigated by reducing "dust that our unrepaired roads, unpaved pavements and construction sites cause" and curbing vehicular emissions.
Saxena said the national capital can do little to stop crop residue smoke from other states and added "blaming others should not be alibi for gross inaction over years." Saxena also accused the Punjab government of "playing truant."
"We can do little to stop crop residue smoke from other States, apart from pleading with them. Despite States, especially Punjab playing truant, we are, but petitioners for mercy. AQI yet hovers around 400, making the capital gasp," he said in a post.
Delhi's air quality fluctuated between "very poor" and "severe" categories on Thursday as unfavourable meteorological conditions hindered the dispersion of pollutants.
Noting that firecrackers certainly add to the menace, he said that the most affected in this "gas chamber" are those who commute on roads to earn their daily bread. "The poor & the hapless living in slums & unauthorized colonies whose lungs are frying because they can't afford to sit at home & buy air purifiers The real solution to pollution in Delhi lies in Delhi itself. We can mitigate the choking smog by reducing the dust that our unrepaired roads, unpaved pavements & construction sites cause. We can employ effective means to curb our vehicular emissions," he added.
"Since the deadly smog in 2016, this has become a recurrent issue subjected to nothing but platitude and rhetoric.
"Publicity around props like smog towers mean little & politics of propaganda that involve over hyped events like "Red Light On, Gaadi Off" and "Odd- Even" cannot hold the life of people of Delhi to ransom," he added. Nothing concrete after the implementation of CNG in Delhi and construction of a maze of flyovers since then, has been attempted, he alleged.
"Delhi needs action, not mere posturing. We can achieve sustainable goals within a fixed timeline. Let's do it. Politics can wait," he said. There was no immediate reaction from the Delhi government. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will on Thursday hold a meeting with departments on the effective implementation of measures outlined in the Centre's air pollution control plan, officials said.
Rai had previously reprimanded the departments concerned for their negligence in executing the air pollution control plan and urged them to establish a monitoring mechanism for overseeing the teams responsible for enforcing anti-air pollution measures.