Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Killer smog: When Pakistan's Punjab government dialed Amarinder Singh via Arvind Kejriwal

Killer smog: When Pakistan's Punjab government dialed Amarinder Singh via Arvind Kejriwal

Odd-even auto formula from Nov 13 to 17, HC gives emergency directions As dense smog continued to blanket Delhi for the third consecutive day on Thursday, the Centre made a decision to set up a seven-member committee of secretaries to implement the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to tackle air pollution even as the Arvind Kejriwal government announced to bring back the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme for a few days from November 13.

"As a thick blanket of toxic pollutants enveloped the national capital for the third consecutive day, chief ministers of Delhi and Punjab kept the farm fires on â€" an agricultural practice believed to be the main culprit behind the smog. "There is 20 million ton of paddy straw, where do I ask farmers to store?"

Responding to Kejriwal's letter, Amarinder ruled out a meeting, saying any discussion among the chief ministers would serve no meaningful objective because only the Centre was equipped to address this grave issue with inter-state implications. "He doesn't understand this problem", Singh said.

Amid the tussle going on between the Delhi and Punjab government over the stubble burning issue, the Pakistan government has now a suggestion for Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to tackle the air pollution issue. Due to these light spells, pollution levels will further improve.

"We have imposed a ban on stubble burning in Punjab (Pakistan) & hope @capt_amarinder takes similar measures", it tweeted, adding that environmental hazards threatened our people and habitat and that there was need to act fast to counter it. "Until state governments don't find economically viable solutions to crop burning it will not stop", said Kejriwal.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) scale shows Delhi having an AQI of 486 whereas the index for Ghaziabad (499), Gurgaon (494), Noida (487) and Faridabad (482) are equally bad. The panel will be headed by the Union Environment Ministry's secretary CK Mishra.

Singh pointed out that like Delhi, Punjab too was suffering due to air pollution, forcing closure of schools and other institutions in many districts and change in timings in others.

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