Friday, 24 November, 2017

Kejriwal urges Punjab and Haryana CMs to find solution on crop burning

Smog turns Delhi into ‘gas chamber’ primary schools to remain closed today Representational image
Melissa Porter | 09 November, 2017, 12:38

The NHRC also criticised authorities for not taking proper steps to tackle the "hazard", amounting to violation of right to life and health.

It has asked the Union and state governments to give a report on the matter in two weeks time. In a statement, the NHRC said: "The state can not leave its citizens to die due to the toxic haze".

Notices were also issued to the secretaries of the Union ministries of environment, health and highways and road transport along with the chief secretaries of the governments of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.

"There is a need for an effective study by the experts and proper implementation of their recommendations, including short term and long term measures identified", the NHRC added.

Addressing a traders' meet on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) here, Mr Kejriwal also demanded that the Centre abolish 28 and 18 per cent tax slabs in the new tax regime and said only the 12 per cent tax slab should exist on every item.

He said farmers were "helpless" and were forced to burn crop stubble as the state governments had failed to provide them with alternatives. The toxic smog in the city had become "an annual health hazard", particularly, at a time when the winters were about to start.

Delhi is facing an emergency situation but there is hardly any intention or commitment seen to address the problem as such innovative solutions like using mist cannons, creating a special force to check construction activities, vehicular pollution, rubbish burning and other factors is the need of the hour, said ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr D.S. Rawat.

The thick blanket of smog covering the national capital and neighbouring regions kept the alarm bells ringing on Wednesday. As per reports, the air quality index has dangerously crossed the 448 points which is very alarming.

In the meantime, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) pulled up the Delhi government, the city's municipal corporations and governments in neighbouring states for "playing" with the lives of people. It has been reported that the air quality in the world's most polluted capital city plunged to levels likened to smoking at least 50 cigarettes in a single day.

The lowest pollution level was recorded in East Delhi's Dilshad Garden area with 264 AQI.