New Delhi, October 13: The worsening air pollution combined with COVID-19 spread is lethal for residents of the national capital, said Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday. The senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre, accusing it of inaction throughout the year to tackle the menace of stubble burning-caused pollution. Amid Rising Concerns of Pollution in National Capital, Farmers in Amritsar Continue Stubble Burning.
"Pollution, especially that related to stubble burning, is not an issue for Delhi alone, it is for entire north India. Unfortunately, the central government did not do anything to resolve it. They sat idly throughout the year. Entire north India is suffering," Sisodia said.
The Deputy CM reiterated the warning sounded by health experts, as he suggested that the worsening air quality in Delhi could detrimentally affect persons who contract COVID-19. In absence of clean air, the coronavirus patients facing a depletion in oxygen levels are feared to be more adversely affected.
"Pollution plus corona has become lethal for people. Centre sits idly all through the year, holds some meetings around this time and then don't do anything after that. I would like to tell them that they will have to play a role to reduce pollution in north India," Sisodia added.
Update by ANI
Pollution plus Corona has become lethal for people. Centre sits idly all through the year, holds some meetings around this time and then don't do anything after that. I would like to tell them that they will have to play a role to reduce pollution in north India: Delhi Deputy CM https://t.co/tkPSd22ahb
— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2020
With the onset of autumn and early winter, the air quality in Delhi annually deteriorates to hazardous levels. This is primarily caused by stubble burning by farmers in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana, as they clear their lands for the Rabi sowing season. The menace is aggravated with the lack of wind flow due to the chill in temperature.
The air quality index in Delhi today dipped to 304 -- categorised as "very poor". This was preceded by a massive surge in stubble burning incidents in Punjab, with the neighbouring state recording nearly 2,900 stubble burning cases between September 21 to October 12. The numbers have increased by nearly four times as compared to the previous year.