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Amarinder Singh Says Punjab Not Responsible for Delhi Pollution, Asks Centre to Help Farmers

Amarinder Singh had on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand Rs 100 per quintal compensation to farmers to deal with the problem of stubble burning.

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Updated:October 19, 2018, 12:04 AM IST
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Amarinder Singh Says Punjab Not Responsible for Delhi Pollution, Asks Centre to Help Farmers
File photo of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. (PTI)
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New Delhi: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that Punjab could not be blamed for the problem of pollution in the NCR region and added that the more compensation was needed to discourage farmers from burning the stubble.

“Pollution problem is not because of the state of Punjab. We have received about 260 crore but more is needed. The farmers have no choice. The problem is bigger than what we see,” CM Amarinder Singh told CNN-News18.

He appealed to the Centre to offer more assistance. “I met Prime Minister Modi and have put forward my demands.”

“We sympathise with the farmers but there is a need is to amend the laws. Centre has to come forward and help the farmers out,” he said.

Amarinder Singh had on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand Rs 100 per quintal compensation to farmers to deal with the problem of stubble burning.

He had told Modi that the problem of air pollution because of stubble burning could aggravate, despite steps being taken by the Punjab government, with the close of the harvest season, and needed to be addressed urgently.

Launching a scathing attack on Arvind Kejriwal, Singh accused the Delhi chief minister of only tweeting and not taking any action. He further asserted that the issue not be politicised.

Kejriwal has on several occasions blamed the Punjab government for failing to check the problem of stubble burning. Last week, the Delhi CM had said that because of the states’ inaction, the national capital region was becoming a “gas chamber”.

“We have been pursuing Central (government), Haryana and Punjab governments, yet no concrete action has been taken. Farmers are again helpless. The entire region including Delhi will again become gas chamber. People will again face difficulty in breathing. This is criminal," Kejriwal had tweeted.

Dense smog is expected in Delhi-NCR along and neighbouring states, including Punjab and Haryana because of stubble burning. Delhi's air quality remained "very poor" for the second consecutive day on Thursday, with several areas approaching severe levels of pollution, authorities told PTI.

Meanwhile, the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday accused the Punjab government of ‘failing’ to provide incentives to farmers to dissuade them from burning in the state. "Why his (Captain Amarinder Singh’s) government failed to incentivise a single farmer to prevent stubble burning?” SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal asked.
| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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