Monday, March 8

‘Disagree with Javadekar’: Kejriwal lists steps to tackle air pollution in short time

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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that if all the governments work hard and together make honest efforts, the pollution caused due to parali (agricultural waste) can be substantially reduced in a short period.

In a video posted on his official Twitter handle, Kejriwal said while he agrees with Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar that burning or parali is a big problem, he disagrees with the statement that the problem can’t be solved in a short time.

“If we have the political will, the issue can be resolved within a short time,” the Delhi chief minister said.

He then listed steps being taken by different state governments to stop farmers from burning parali.

“On the recommendation of Pusa Institute, the Delhi government started spraying chemicals which will convert this parali into manure. It will be beneficial for farmers also,” said Kejriwal.

“A factory which can extract a CNG-like gas from parali has started functioning in Haryana’s Karnal. This parali is bought from the farmers and taken to this factory for gas extraction. And farmers don’t have to pay for transport. Since it is bought from them, the farmers get money as well. This gas is then bought by Indraprashta Gas Limited (IGL),” he added.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said that there are seven factories in Punjab which make coke (a form of coal) from parali which is then sold to NTPC.

“So, we can see that there are so many ways to convert this waste to something useful and stop the farmers from burning parali which will bring down the pollution level in the air. If we start doing this on war footing, we can reduce the pollution within a year. But the question is: Do we have the political will? Or are we interested in doing politics over the issue?” said Kejriwal.

He suggested that the Centre (environment ministry) should hold monthly meeting with chief ministers of states which are affected by burning or parali to find out more such solutions.

Interacting with people during a Facebook Live event, Javadekar had said on Sunday that the major factors behind air pollution in the country are traffic, industries, waste, dust, stubble, geography and meteorology.

“The pollution problem cannot be resolved in one day. Continuous efforts needed to tackle each contributing factor,” the minister had said.