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No blame game, let's sit together over pollution: Kejriwal

As air pollution touched the "unbreathable" level of 1,000, with a thick blanket of smog enveloping the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he has no intention of indulging in blame game or politics over the crisis, and the Center and state governments should sit down together to resolve the issue.
No blame game, let's sit together over pollution: Kejriwal

With social media raging over the thick smog, the Aam Aadmi Party leader posted a short video on Twitter on Sunday in which he blamed stubble burning in the neighbouring states for the high level of air pollution in Delhi.

Kejriwal said the pollution levels had risen only in the past 20 days due to stubble burning.

Showing pictures of a clear Delhi sky, he said from February this year to October 10, the pollution levels in Delhi were fine, the air quality was good and the stars were visible in the night sky.

"What happened in these past 20 days that has caused the pollution to shoot up like this? It is not as if Delhiites have bought a crore of cars, or that 10 lakh industries have been set up. It is stubble burning that has made the air so polluted," Kejriwal said in the 8.39 minute video.

He said the high pollution levels in the past few years were brought down due to collective efforts, such as banning diesel generators and making trucks use the peripheral roads instead of going through Delhi.

He said thanks to "24x7" electricity and the banning of diesel generators, which numbered six lakh, the air has become clearer. His government has also planted more trees in a 600 acre area, increased the forest cover, while the Central government has moved to force trucks to use the peripheral roads at night instead of belching their smoke in the capital.

"All the industries that used pollution-causing fuel have been forced to switch to non-polluting fuel.

"We have done so much to reduce pollution, so why should we have to put up with this? We are not indulging in blame game. The health of our children, our families concerns us. Why should we indulge in blame game," the Chief Minister asked.

He said the main issue here is to stop stubble burning in the neighbouring states.

"Let us all get together to stop this. All the governments should sit together and find a way out," he said.

Kejriwal said that in Punjab and Haryana, there were 27 lakh farmers, and in the past few years, 65,000 machines have been distributed to tackle the stubble.

"How many years will it take for the machines to reach 27 lakh farmers? We cannot afford to sit quietly till then," he said.

Referring to the 'odd-even' traffic rationing scheme kicking off from Monday, he said that it will applicable from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"I will also follow the odd-even rule, so will my ministerial and other colleagues. Please go with your friend during the odd-even period," he said.

The Chief Minister also said that his government is sending masks for school children to wear, as he prayed for the good health of the capital's denizens.

( With inputs from IANS )

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