Kejriwal urges Centre to take immediate steps to combat pollution, assures cooperation
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday urged the Central government to take immediate steps to provide relief from the pollution and assured full support in all its initiatives.
National capital and its adjoining areas have been covered in a thick blanket of smog due to rising pollution from past few weeks. The situation is such that public health emergency has also been issued by EPCA in the wake of the dipping air quality.
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal, who has been lately slamming neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana over the rise in pollution in Delhi, said, "Pollution has reached unbearable levels across North India. Delhi government has taken many steps. Delhiites have made many sacrifices. Delhi suffering for no fault of theirs."
"Punjab CM also expressed concern. The centre should take immediate steps to provide relief. We will support Centre in all initiatives", he added.
According to Skymet, as of Sunday afternoon, with PM 2.5 over 900, air quality in Jahangirpuri has dipped to 'hazardous' category.
Due to low visibility, flight operations at Delhi Airport were also adversely affected.
Since today morning, air pollution levels in the national capital escalated to hazardous and visibility dropped significantly as a thick blanket of smog engulfed several parts of the city on Sunday morning.
Notably, for the first time in this season, the Air Quality Index (AQI) docked as high as 625 at 10 in the morning despite light drizzles in the early hours.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401-500 "severe". Above 500 is "severe-plus emergency" category.
In Dhirpur, the AQI was 509, while in Delhi University area it was 591. In Delhi's famous Chandni Chowk area, the AQI was recorded at 432 while in Lodhi road it was 537.
Earlier on Saturday, Union Environment and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar had urged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to take measures to tackle air pollution in national capital instead of indulging in 'blame-game'.
Addressing media persons after an event here, Javadekar said, "I think it is unfortunate that a Chief Minister, instead of finding solutions to mitigate pollution is into a blame game."
Stating that the geophysical conditions surrounding the national capital play a role in increasing air pollution, the Union Minister appealed to Delhi, Punjab and Haryana governments to work together in order to tackle the menace.