Data that stubble burning contributes just 10 per cent to Delhi pollution misleading, says Arvind Kejriwal

By: |
October 16, 2019 4:21 PM

The chief minister said no local pollutants have increased or decreased in the last few months and the sudden spike in pollution in the last one week shows that external factors are responsible.

The chief minister said no local pollutants have increased or decreased in the last few months and the sudden spike in pollution in the last one week shows that external factors are responsible.

A central government agency’s claim that stubble burning in neighbouring states is responsible for only 10 per cent of the city’s pollution is “misleading,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday. SAFAR, the ministry of earth science’s air quality and weather forecast service, had in a recent report said that the share of stubble burning in the PM 2.5 concentration in Delhi has remained less than 10 per cent so far. PM 2.5 stands for particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter.

Particles narrower than 10 micrometres are the most hazardous because they can get deep into the lungs, and some may even get into the bloodstream. Kejriwal questioned the basis of the analysis and said it is “misleading”. “What is the basis of this. Real time source apportionment of pollution machines can only tell us what contributes to how much pollution and the Delhi government is trying to procure it. No one in India has that machine yet,” Kejriwal told reporters. In response to a question, he said, “These agencies should refrain from misleading people. These are very sensitive information and these agencies which are giving these details should act responsibly.”

The chief minister said no local pollutants have increased or decreased in the last few months and the sudden spike in pollution in the last one week shows that external factors are responsible. “We admit that Delhi has internal pollutants but these pollutants are causing same amount of pollution as it was in September and October. Nothing drastic has happened in the last few days that would result in increasing the pollution except stubble burning which started a week back,” he said.

Delhi’s pollution level spikes during winter season when smog engulfs the national capital. Many areas in the Delhi-National Capital Region recorded air quality in the “very poor” category on Wednesday morning, with particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter being the primary pollutant.

The Delhi government had earlier shared pictures and data from NASA that showed large-scale stubble burning in areas surrounding Delhi.

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