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Delhi Congress Leaders Protesting Outside CM Kejriwal's Residence Over Spike in Pollution Detained

The protesters were detained after they attempted to sit on a dharna outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Civil Lines residence.

PTI

Updated:November 3, 2019, 10:00 PM IST
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Delhi Congress Leaders Protesting Outside CM Kejriwal's Residence Over Spike in Pollution Detained
All India Students' Association (AISA) activists form a human chain demanding immediate steps to control air pollution, at CP's Central Park, in New Delhi, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Image: PTI Photo)

New Delh: Delhi Congress president Subhash Chopra and several other leaders of the party were detained by the police on Sunday during a protest at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence against the high levels of air pollution in the city.

The protesters were detained after they attempted to sit on a dharna outside Kejriwal's Civil Lines residence.

Besides Chopra, former Delhi Congress president JP Agarwal and other senior leaders were detained and taken to the Civil Lines police station.

Around 40 protesters were detained and released subsequently, a Delhi Police officer said.

"People are facing a severe air pollution due to the inaction and failure of the AAP government in Delhi and the BJP-ruled Centre as well as the city's municipal corporations," Chopra said during the demonstration.

Delhi had become a gas chamber and people dreaded to come out of their houses, he added.

The pollution levels peaked to a three-year high in Delhi on Sunday. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) of the national capital stood at 494 at 4 pm, the highest since November 6, 2016, when it was 497.

Chopra claimed that 41 per cent of Delhi's pollution was on account of vehicular traffic, 18.6 per cent due to industrial pollution, 4.9 per cent due to power plants, 9.5 per cent because of waste burning, 5.6 per cent due to air traffic and 11 per cent from other sources, which were all internally generated in the city.

"There has been a 40-per cent increase in vehicular pollution between 2013 and 2019," the Congress leader claimed further.

Agarwal said the fact that the Kejriwal government was resorting to the odd-even scheme proved that vehicular pollution was a major contributing factor in fouling the air quality in Delhi.

Former Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken alleged that both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were indulging in "shadow boxing" and trading charges over the rising pollution levels in the city to "fool" people.

"Kejriwal is trying to gain cheap political mileage by blaming stubble burning in the neighbouring states for the spike in Delhi's air pollution," he said.

AAP leaders, including Kejriwal, have been claiming that stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana is the main reason behind the severe air pollution in Delhi.

Former Delhi Congress president Arvinder Lovely, working president Devender Yadav, Delhi Mahila Congress president Sharmishtha Mukherjee and many former parliamentarians and ministers of the grand old party took part in the protest.

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