Friday, 24 November, 2017

Centre, states must come together, says Delhi CM Kejriwal

Light rains likely over Delhi amid winter chill Smog crisis: Punjab govt tweets to Amarinder Singh urging ban stubble burning
Melissa Porter | 12 November, 2017, 04:38

Odd-even auto formula from Nov 13 to 17, HC gives emergency directions As dense smog continued to blanket Delhi for the third consecutive day on Thursday, the Centre made a decision to set up a seven-member committee of secretaries to implement the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to tackle air pollution even as the Arvind Kejriwal government announced to bring back the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme for a few days from November 13. He even called Mr Kejriwal a "peculiar person with views on everything but no understanding" and said that there isn't much that he can do without the help of the centre.

"There is 20 million tonne of paddy straw, where do I ask farmers to store?"

"Have requested PM to convene meeting of Chief Ministers of affected states along with union ministers".

According to the Newspaper,"Setting politics aside, Centre, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi should come together to find a solution to stubble burning, which causes high-pollution level during this time every year".

This follows the two CMs had slugged it out on Twitter on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 farmers have been identified for burning stubble across the State. To this Kejriwal replied, "Sir, it wud be best if we met. Cud u kindly share estimated funds reqd?"

Singh has demanded about Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre for the management of the harvest residue and preventing farmers from burning it and causing pollution. He added that there were at present no technical or biological systems for managing this farm operation that were economically attractive to the farmer. "He doesn't understand this problem", Singh said. This could be released by way of direct benefit transfer (DBT) to farmers after due verification.

Amarinder Singh has maintained that his state can not handle the 200 million ton of paddy straw generated by farmers, who burn the remnants before sowing new crops in November.

Pointing out that the current pollution crisis was largely triggered by the burning of paddy straw in the paddy-growing areas of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, Singh appealed to the prime minister to order a probe on priority and announce a plan for crop-related compensation at Rs. 100/- per quintal on wheat (above MSP), and later for paddy to incentivise farmers not to burn crop residue. The National Green Tribunal has directed Delhi and the four states to take strict measures to deal with the pollution problem, it said in a statement.