Punjab not responsible for Delhi’s polluted air, says Amarinder Singh

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has said that his state was not responsible for the air pollution in Delhi and the national capital region, and has lauded the efforts of his farmers in minimising paddy stubble burning cases this year.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had blamed Punjab for the rising pollution around a fortnight ago, and the issue has had leaders engage in heated banter.

“How could Punjab be responsible for all the pollution in the national capital when there is no such pollution in Chandigarh from where it crosses over to Delhi,” he said, after laying the foundation stone of a ₹358-crore Verka dairy mega plant at Bassi Pathana in Fatehgarh Sahib district on Saturday.

The plant will be completed in three phases and would generate direct and indirect employment of 500 and 80,000, respectively, a government release said.

He also inaugurated a Verka Mohali dairy as a ‘Fully Automated Fermented Unit’, built at ₹100 crore through a remote control.

The CM also slammed anti-farmer organisations and other political parties for spreading propaganda against the government and presenting fudged figures over paddy procurement. “Of 160 lakh tonne of paddy procured to date, 157 lakh tonne has already been lifted and payments have been made to farmers. The remaining paddy, with high moisture content above the ceiling prescribed in the norms, will also be lifted soon,” he added.

The CM added that he had pleaded with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing ₹100 per quintal as incentive to farmers, who did not burn paddy stubble this season, but there had been no response.

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