Delhi has become like a gas chamber due to pollution: Kejriwal

New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that the national capital has become like a “gas chamber” due to air pollution.

“Pollution level has increased so much in Delhi that it has taken shape of a gas chamber,” Kejriwal told reporters here.

He also said that initially, an inquiry had suggested that the reason behind pollution is crop burning in neighbouring states, and added that the Delhi government needs help from the central government in tackling pollution.

Later in the evening, Kejriwal met Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave and discussed the alarming level of pollution in the national capital.

In the meeting, Kejriwal also raised the point of giving some incentives to the farmers to stop them from burning their crop residue.

“I met the Environment Minister. He told me that he will try to call a meeting of the Chief Ministers of the neighbouring states to discuss the pollution and crop burning issue,” Kejriwal said, adding, “I thank him for this.”

“There is a need to provide some sort of incentive to the farmers, so that they do not burn the paddy stubbles in their fields. Some decision on this should come out in the meeting of the Environment Minister with the Chief Ministers of neighbouring states,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s National Convenor told reporters after emerging out of the meeting with Dave.

The air quality in Delhi remained bad for the ninth consecutive day on Saturday.

Kejriwal said that Paddy stubble burning is being done on large scale, ranging from 16 million tonnes to 20 million tonnes, in the neighbouring states.

“This is a major contributor to the air pollution,” he added.

He also appealed to Delhiites to use private transport to the least possible extent and rely more on public transport.

Earlier in the press conference, Kejriwal said that his government is going to hire an agency to know the reason behind the pollution in Delhi.

The AAP chief emphasised that he will work on all options to minimise pollution in the national capital.

“Vacuum cleaning of the roads will begin from this week. It will remove dust from the roads, which also contributes to pollution,” Kejriwal added.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain visited the Bhalswa Landfill Site on Saturday morning to take stock of the situation there in the wake of rising air pollution.