ANI Photo | BJP’s Shehzad Poonawala dons gas mask, claims Smog Tower in Delhi non-functional

Amid rising pollution in Delhi, BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla reached the Smog Tower in Delhi’s Connaught place wearing a World War Style Gas Mask. The BJP leader claimed that the tower had not been operational for eight months.
“Kejriwal lives in a Sheesh Mahal but Delhi is living in a Gas & Smog ka Mahal. I ask some questions on Delhi Smog Tower built at cost of Rs 23 cr which is shut for 8 months! What use is it? What have you done to tackle pollution in last 8-9 years? Just blame Centre & DIWALI? Is this Smog Tower one more corruption done by AAP Government?”
The allegation was denied by Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai who blamed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee for closure of the tower.
“The responsibility for the smog tower at Anand Vihar was given to the Central govt-CPCB and Delhi government was given the responsibility of the smog tower in CP. The smog tower at CP (setup in 2021) was operational and the final report of the data collected was to come out after two years. In December, Ashwini Kumar became DPCC chairman. Soon after his appointment, he stopped the Real-time Source Apportionment study without the informing Delhi government. He also stopped payments to IIT-Bombay and other agencies who were working on the smog tower. Since then the smog tower has stopped working.”
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala also attacked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday and said that Delhi has become a gas chamber under Arvind Kejriwal.
Shehzad Poonawalla said, “Delhi has become a gas chamber under Arvind Kejriwal. He has ensured that AQI levels are at their highest in the last four to five years. He has done nothing to tackle pollution; he used to blame stubble burning in Punjab.”
“Now you have a government in Punjab. However, incidences of stubble burning have increased in Punjab. His government will blame the centre, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana… People of Delhi today, if they breathe this air, it is hazardous.” he added.
As air quality in several parts of Delhi-NCR plunged to the ‘severe’ category on Friday morning, people said they experienced breathing problems and irritation in the eye among others.
There was a thick haze blanketing the skyline of the national capital and adjoining areas as the Air Quality Index (AQI) breached the 400 mark at multiple locations,
As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI stood at 498 in Mundka followed by 491 at Jahangirpuri.
In the RK Puram area and at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3) the AQI was recorded at 486 and 473 respectively.
Moreover, AQI at multiple locations in Noida also plunged to the ‘severe’ category with Sector 62, Sector 1 and Sector 116 recording 483, 413 and 415 respectively

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