Delhi L-G writes to Punjab CM over stubble burning, asks to take urgent steps

by IANS |

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Delhi Lt. Governor V.K. Saxena on Friday wrote to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann over the stubble burning issue and asked him to take urgent action to control it.

"I wish to draw your attention towards the pain and suffering that the people of Delhi are experiencing for no fault of theirs, and request you to undertake urgent and substantive measures to control Parali burning in Punjab, that has converted the National Capital once again into a gas chamber," said L-G Saxena in his letter.

"It is public knowledge that Air Pollution in Delhi has reached extremely dangerous levels, hovering consistently in the 'severe plus' category due to smoke, 95 per cent of which is originating from Parali burning in Punjab," he said further in the letter.

L-G Saxena also said that contrary to expectations, incidents of Parali burning have increased by a whopping 19 per cent in the period between October 24, 2022 to November 2, 2022, as compared to the corresponding period in 2021.

"Authentic data on Parali burning presents an alarming picture. The figures for 2021 and 2022, for the same period stand at 18,066 and 21,480 respectively. As on November 2, 2022, alone, out of the total 3,825 cases of Parali burning in 6 states, i.e., Punjab, Haryana, UP, MP and Rajasthan, Punjab singularly reported 3,634 cases, while Delhi reported zero", the letter reads.

L-G Saxena said the situation is violative of the citizens' fundamental right to health and the right to life. "Apart from other things, the Government of NCTD has also gone out of the way to promote and publicize a 'bio-decomposer' for use by the farmers, vide extensive and large-scale advertisements in newspapers and television by spending crores of rupees.

"It is surprising that despite these initiatives and interventions, the cases of stubble burning particularly in your State have not only continued unabated, but increased tragically, severely affecting air quality in the National Capital amongst other places", the L-G said.

"In a democratic set up, we in the government are expected to adopt multi-modal and proactive approach to quell such foreseeable detriments to human health and life", read the letter.

"I, on behalf of Delhi and its residents, once again sincerely and earnestly urge you to galvanize all available resources and machinery to make the farmers become willing partners in defeating this repetitive menace and help the Capital -- indeed the entire NCR, breathe", said the L-G in the letter, adding that he has also spoken with Haryana Chief Minister M.L. Khattar to look into this matter over the phone.

However, reacting to the letter, Punjab CM tweeted, "LG Sahib, you are stopping the works of the elected government of Delhi. You stopped the "Red Light On, Gaadi Off" campaign and now doing politics by writing to me. Doing politics is not right on such a serious subject".

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