Netizen 24 IND: As Delhi chokes, air pollution at centre of political slugfest

Diposting oleh On 12.07

As Delhi chokes, air pollution at centre of political slugfest

Home » PoliticsLast Published: Tue, Nov 14 2017. 01 15 AM IST As Delhi chokes, air pollution at centre of political slugfestDelhi pollution, due to crop stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, has become a political flashpoint between AAP, Congress and BJP governments in the statesPretika KhannaHealth experts said the cover of smog and air pollution in Delhi is causing environmental problems and respiratory diseases. Photo: AFPHealth experts said the cover of smog and air pollution in Delhi is causing environmental problems and respiratory diseases. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Even as the threat of air pollution fails to abate, it has become a political flashpoint among the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congressâ€"the three parties and otherwise bitter rivals heading governments in the states of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab respectively.

With the seasonal spike in air pollution becoming an annual phenomenon, the question being asked is whether it will, like the promise of development, become part of the electoral lexicon in a metropolis like Delhi.

On Monday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal criticized the Delhi government for failing to rise above electoral interests.

“In fact, your reference to the helplessness of farmers in ‘Punjab and Haryana’ in stubble burning betrays an inability to rise above short term electoral interests. Your assertion ‘the Governments have failed to provide them economically viable solutions’ gives away your subconscious awareness of your Government’s inaction in this regard,” he said in his letter.

Last week, Kejriwal had sent letters to the chief ministers of Haryana and Punjab seeking appointments to discuss ways to tackle air pollution. Responding to the letter, Khattar said that he is open to meeting “anytime, anywhere”.

Responding to the allegations levelled by Haryana chief minister, Delhi cabinet minister Gopal Rai alleged that the Haryana state government was playing the blame game instead of taking action.

“In Haryana and other states, the crop is cut from the top using technology, so it leaves a long stubble which needs burning for removal. In Delhi, our farmers cut crops close to the roots. And, have you seen any visual on TV or photos in newspapers of Delhi farmers resorting to stubble burning,” he said.

Last week, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Kejriwal engaged in a row on Twitter over the rising pollution levels. Singh urged the central government to step-in and solve the issue.

While the issue continues to agitate the general public, some intellectuals too are lending their voice to the argument that public policy failure in tackling pollution has brought the public discourse to a tipping point.

In a column published in Times of India, philanthropist Rohini Nilekani argued that pollution was impacting the rich and poor alike, necessitating public intervention.

“Public goods and services are at the heart of the transformation India needs to unleash. People with influence, power and a moral vision for this country must speak up loud and clear. It needs that and more to build strong public pressure on the political class and the executive.”

Some citizen voices echoed as much.

“It is high time that pollution became an election issue. State and central government governments keep bickering while the people continue to suffer. It is a medical emergency. The top doctors in the city are saying the damag e caused to our children is irreversible and we have no strong laws in place to curb this problem,” said Ashima Ranade, a resident of Delhi and a mother of two children.

According to Dr. Sandeep Nayar, senior consultant and HOD, respiratory medicine, allergy and sleep disorder, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, the cover of smog and air pollution in the city was causing environmental problems and respiratory diseases.

“Air pollutants, if inhaled have serious impact on human health causing breathlessness, watering of eyes and nose, burning sensation in eyes, excessive cough, chest pain, dizziness, headache.”

However, experts feel that it may take some time for air pollution to become an electoral issue.

“Pollution should be an election issue but don’t think any political party is serious about it. Governments are unable to spend money on it,” said Subrata Mukherjee, a New Delhi-based political analyst and former political science professor at Delhi University.

PTI contributed to the story.

First Published: Tue, Nov 14 2017. 01 09 AM IST

Latest News »

  • Nepal scraps $2.5 billion hydropower plant deal with Chinese company
  • Rs554-crore national trauma care policy awaits cabinet approval
  • Finance ministry asks PSU banks to act swiftly to deal with NPAs
  • Volkswagen MAN’s $583,000 electric urban bus to test cities’ spending plans
  • Opec sees evidence of oil market moving to balance

Editor's Picks »

Finance minister Arun Jaitley defended the four-rate GST structure saying in a country like India, basic food items and luxury and sin goods cannot be taxed at the same rate. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Jaitley signals further GST rate cuts, hits out against politicizing tax reform

The GST Council’s decision to cut tax rates on 177 items from 28% to 18% is expected to partially ease inflation, going ahead. Photo: Bloomberg

Retail inflation in October jumps to 3.58%, RBI rate cut in December now unlikely

The standalone tower businesses of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular are pan-Indian passive telecom infrastructure businesses, comprising    a combined portfolio of approximately 20,000 telecom towers. Photo: Reuters

Vodafone, Idea to sell telecom tower assets to ATC for $1.2 billion

Mint on Sunday »

  • An irrational neuroscientist

  • Farewell Nehraji: fast bowler, team jester

  • How I fell in love with a library, and wrote a book about it

  • It’s off the list, but is the snow leopard truly safe?

  • Letter from a city tour

Mark to Market »

  • Sluggish economy forces L&T to dim FY18 order flow guidance

  • Coal India: higher wage provision, lower other income make for a dull Q2

  • Britannia Industries’ sales growth recovery post-GST on slow bake

  • Slow business recovery, new investments raise profitability challenge for Blue Star

  • SBI’s financials improve, but mirror weakness in economy

Source: Google News

« Prev Post
Next Post »