NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday strongly attacked the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the poor air quality in North India.
The AAP's senior leader and national spokesperson, Reena Gupta, accused the BJP-led government of lacking any action plan to control air pollution in the region.
Gupta referred to a report indicating that out of the 50 most polluted cities in the world, 39 are located in India, with 20 of them being in the BJP-ruled state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
Gupta said that, at present, only the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi is taking strong measures to reduce air pollution by implementing winter and summer action plans. As a result, Delhi's air quality has seen a 30 per cent improvement in the last few years. She pointed out that data from the Central government's Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)'s website reveals that 70 per cent of Delhi's air pollution is coming from outside states, and when they raised their voices about controlling pollution from outside states, the Central government shut down that website.
The AAP has demanded a high-level meeting of all Environment Ministers from Northern states and the reopening of the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research (SAFAR) website to provide transparency on the sources of pollution.
Gupta expressed concern over the rising Air Quality Index (AQI) levels in northern India and criticised the Central government for not announcing any plans to address air pollution. She said that people in the region are suffering from respiratory problems, particularly during the winter, and called on the Modi government to take appropriate measures to protect the health of Indian citizens.
Gupta mentioned that while there has been a significant increase in the number of patients with asthma in northern India during the winter, the central government has failed to address the issue.
She also highlighted that China, which faced a similar air pollution problem in the past, took significant steps to address it by involving all state governments and setting a specific timeline for them to work on the issue. In contrast, she criticized the BJP government for not taking responsibility for air pollution and failing to work collaboratively with state governments to find solutions. (IANS)