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Farm fire share in Delhi's pollution 40 per cent, but Oppn in denial: Gopal Rai

Farm fire share in Delhis pollution 40 per cent, but Oppn in denial: Gopal Rai

New Delhi: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday targeted the BJP and the Congress over the issue of stubble burning, saying the share of farm fires in Delhi's pollution has soared to 40 percent but opposition parties were in denial.

According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor, SAFAR, the share of stubble burning in Delhi's pollution rose to 40 percent on Sunday, the maximum so far this season.

It was 32 percent on Saturday, 19 percent on Friday and 36 percent on Thursday, the second highest this season so far.

"We have been saying it again and again that stubble burning is a major reason behind severe levels of pollution in Delhi around Diwali, but the BJP and the Congress say the share of farm fires in Delhi's pollution was just 4 to 6 percent, whereas statistics show it has increased to 40 percent," Rai told reporters.

He said the Delhi government has been doing everything possible to curb biomass burning, and vehicular and dust pollution, "but what should we do about stubble burning?"

Last year, the stubble contribution to Delhi's pollution had peaked to 44 percent on November 1, according to SAFAR data.

NASA's satellite imagery showed a large, dense cluster of fire dots covering Punjab and parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Rai said strict action on the ground was more important than creating new commissions.

The Centre introduced a new law recently through an ordinance that put in place a powerful Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas to curb air pollution.

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