New Delhi: As air pollution continues to remain a deep concern in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday accused Delhi's neighbouring states for their failure in providing an alternate option of stubble burning to their farmers.
In a veiled attack, without naming Haryana and Punjab, Kejriwal said the "neighbouring state governments have done nothing to provide relief to the farmers, because of which the farmers are forced to burn stubble".
The Delhi CM's remarks came after he visited the Hiranki Village in outer Delhi's Narela constituency to inspect the efficacy of the bio-decomposing solution developed under the guidance of the PUSA Institute and sprayed by the Delhi government on farmlands across the national capital.
Kejriwal said that the bio-decomposing process of converting stubble into manure is a success, which shows that Delhi has provided a cheap and effective alternative for stubble burning to other states.
Kejriwal said that the neighbouring states, where the practice of stubble burning is prevalent, should implement the alternative without any excuses.
He also said that farmers are highly distressed due to the absence of alternatives to stubble burning, due to which they are left with no option but to burn stubble and bear the brunt of pollution.
"Every year, the smoke from stubble burning pollutes Delhi. The media reports and satellite images show that the practice of stubble burning is quite prevalent in the neighbouring states of Delhi, especially Punjab," Kejriwal said, while addressing the media.
"On one hand, the farmers are themselves very troubled because their families and the villages have to bear the brunt of pollution. The neighbouring state governments have done nothing to provide relief to the farmers, because of which the farmers are forced to burn stubble which leads to major pollution across northern India."
Kejriwal said the Delhi government had sprayed the bio-decomposer solution on farmlands across Delhi on October 13.
"Today is November 4, the entire stubble has converted into manure and the fields are ready for sowing again. Delhi, along with the PUSA Institute, has given a cheap and effective alternative to stubble burning."
Kejriwal said he hope that this is the last year when "we have to suffer from pollution".
"No government can make any excuse; they should stop agonising their farmers. I have spoken to several farmers in Punjab and Haryana, and I know that they do not want to burn stubble anymore. We would present this alternative in front of the Supreme Court owing to the effectiveness of this alternative," Kejriwal said.
"The farmers and the scientists of the PUSA Institute are very satisfied with the output of the solution. No government can make an excuse that they have no alternative or solution to the problem of stubble burning, because a very cheap alternative is available."
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor said his government has sprayed the solution across Delhi in just Rs 20 lakhs.