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Environment Minister Hits Out at Kejriwal for 'Politicising' Pollution in Delhi

Javadekar said air pollution is a problem which has aggravated in the past 15 years and is now being remedied by the Narendra Modi government.


Updated:November 2, 2019, 3:32 PM IST
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Environment Minister Hits Out at Kejriwal for 'Politicising' Pollution in Delhi
File photo of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked school students to write letters to his Punjab and Haryana counterparts over pollution caused by stubble burning, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar slammed him for "politicising" the issue and said it was "unfortunate" that he was indulging in blame game.

Javadekar said that by bringing students on board the issue, the chief minister was presenting them as "villains". "I feel it is very unfortunate that the Delhi chief minister is politicising the issue of pollution and indulging in blame game instead of finding a solution. He is instigating children to send letters to Haryana and Punjab chief ministers to present them in a bad light and as villains," the minister said on Saturday.

Javadekar said air pollution is a problem which has aggravated in the past 15 years and is now being remedied by the Narendra Modi government. "We have started holding inter-state meetings of NCR ministers and officials. All stakeholders need to act together and not blame each other," he said.

"The solution to air pollution is not with a 'switch on' and 'switch off' mode. It is with sustained efforts that pollution will be brought down. All the state agencies and people need to participate in this effort to combat it," the minister said.

Taking a dig at the Delhi chief minister, Javadekar, who is also the minister for information and broadcasting, said that instead of spending crores of rupees on advertisements, the Delhi government should focus on using the money for larger good.

"I am not interested in blaming anyone today. Instead of spending Rs 1,500 crore on advertisements, the Delhi government should give it to the farmers of Punjab and Haryana to tackle pollution and acquire machines that would help in reducing pollution. Any blame game will not reduce the pollution, but efforts in the right direction will," he said.

Javadekar also hit out at the Delhi government for not releasing funds for the construction of Phase IV of the Metro and eastern peripheral expressway until the courts directed it to do so.

Appealing to agencies to work together, the minister later tweeted, "I appeal to all agencies to work together in combating air pollution and give relief to the people and not indulge in cheap politics." He also urged people to use cycles instead of motor vehicles as much as possible and travel by public transport.

Listing out achievements of the Modi government, Javadekar said Metro rail projects have paced ahead under the prime minister's leadership, 60,000 heavy duty trucks have stopped passing through Delhi after completion of the eastern and western peripheral expressways, the Badarpur power plant was closed and 24x7 monitoring of industries was initiated.

"Now, with more than 300 km of the Metro network, it is providing environment-friendly public transport to more than 50 lakh people. Sadly, in this issue as well, the Delhi government did not give their share and the courts had to order them to provide the payment," he said.

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