Air pollution: MPs urge govts not to blame farmers alone

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 20, 2019

Congress MP Manish Tewari in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session of Parliament   -  PTI

The ruling and treasury benches in Lok Sabha came in one voice against portraying small and medium farmers as villains behind the air pollution in Delhi. They urged the governments to look at the main pollutants such as industries, vehicles and dust and stop putting the entire blame on farmers.

Various suggestions

The members were participating in a discussion on pollution and climate change here on Tuesday. BJP MP Pravesh Verma said the State government is claiming that stubble burning is the major reason and ignoring major pollutants.

BJD’s Pinaki Misra suggested that using stubble for bio-gas and fuel to incentivise farmers against burning it. Congress MP Manish Tewari said that small farmers alone should not be blamed for the present situation.

NCAP scheme

Tewari, who initiated the debate, said the allocation of ₹300 crore for the Centre’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is inadequate.

“The government needs to work on this and provide incentives to stop stubble burning,” he said. “Why do people need to knock the doors of the Supreme Court every year over it? It is a matter of grave concern,” Tewari added.

“It is important that today this House gives a message that it is sensitive and serious about this issue. It is not only about air pollution; our rivers are also polluted today,” Tewari said.

Cricketer-turned-MP Gautam Gambhir said the state in Delhi is that of a climate emergency. “The State can no longer get away with gimmicks like odd-even and banning construction sites. We need long-term sustainable solutions and stop the blame game. It’s time to own up and act responsibly,” he said. Urging that the issue should not be politicised, he said air pollution affects everyone irrespective of caste, creed, age and religion.

Published on November 19, 2019

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