Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma here on Tuesday criticised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for doing politics in the name of air pollution and shifting the blame on Haryana, Punjab and UP governments for their failure in stopping stubble burning.
Stating that stubble burning couldn’t be the major reason of pollution in Delhi, he said it was due to Kejriwal’s “incapabilities” that he tried to hide by alleging that the Lieutenant Governor didn’t let him work.
“Why the Delhi Chief Minister didn’t talk to Haryana, Punjab and UP governments if stubble burning was the main reason of pollution? He is doing politics in the name of pollution as Delhi election is coming,” Verma said.
Pointing to November 2018 when the odd-even scheme was not implemented, Verma said pollution then was very low compared with the present.
“Five years ago, only the Delhi Chief Minister coughed, now whole Delhi coughs. This is what he gave to Delhi,” Verma said. “The Delhi Chief Minister only gave pollution to Delhi,” Verma said while taking part in a discussion on ‘Air Pollution and Climate Change’ in the Lok Sabha.
He said the primary cause of Delhi’s foul air was not “stubble burning” but the pollution produced by vehicles, industries, unauthorised colonies and constructions.
Mentioning that three-year-old children are suffering from cancer, the MP said, the air pollution had become an illness. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, he said, Delhi had been “most polluted city” and the most poisonous water in the country was found in Delhi.
Criticising Kejriwal, he said the Delhi government had spent Rs 600 crore on advertisements. “For the even-odd scheme, it spent Rs 70 crore on advertisements,” he said.
Noting that Delhi faced severe air pollution for 200 days in a year, Verma said stubble burning took place only 50-60 days. “What about the pollution during those 180 days,” he said.
Blaming vehicles for pollution, Verma said, its number on Delhi roads had risen to 1.10 crore from 40 lakh in 2004 and criticised the Kejriwal government for that.
The MP alleged the Delhi Transport Department had not purchased a single bus in the last 10 years. “The Supreme Court said there are 5,000 buses in Delhi, 15,000 more are needed. More than 10,000 buses should be purchased,” but the Delhi government didn’t buy a single bus in the last five years, he said.
“In the last three months, the Delhi government only did a drama to purchase 100 buses and kept the Rs 1,200 crore sanctioned by the Centre during the President’s rule in 2014,” he said. The state government used the interest earned on this money for issuing advertisements, he added.
Referring to traffic congestion, Verma alleged the Delhi government couldn’t construct a single road and flyover with his own initiative. Kejriwal failed to complete even the roads and flyovers sanctioned by the Congress-led government, he said.
On absence of Bhagwant Mann, Aam Aadmi Party’s only MP from Punjab, during the discussion, he said, I would have asked his opinion on the Delhi Chief Minister’s assertaion that stubble burning was the reason of Delhi pollution.
On increasing pollution due to dust from unauthorised colonies, Verma said no development was done for the 1,800 unauthorised colonies.
He said the Delhi government was violating its own norms and construction activities had become a major reason of pollution.
Verma also accused Kejriwal of indulging in crores of rupees scam by procuring 50 lakh masks, which were unable to save people from pollution.