Theweekendleader

With Delhi a 'hell', ad blitz on quality of life falls flat

New Delhi

25-November-2019

The Supreme Court observation that Delhi is worse than 'narak' (hell) comes at a time when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been releasing huge advertisements gloating about the improved quality of life in the national capital.

While till now, the major issue was the bad quality of air in Delhi, the Supreme Court has expanded the ambit to include water quality and garbage disposal.

Contacted for a reaction, a Delhi government spokesman said: "Our stated policy is that we do not comment on court proceedings. If there is a court order, we will comply with it."

The court's observation comes at a time when apart from the air pollution in Delhi, the quality of drinking water has also become a major controversy. Union Consumers Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has locked horns with the Aam Aadmi Party government over the poor quality of drinking water and set up a committee to examine water samples.

In all of this, the objectives of reducing pollution have remained virtually unaddressed in Delhi. The air pollution has been bad in 2019 as well while the state government has been blaming stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana for pollution to Delhi.

There remain several unanswered question on setting up smog towers in Delhi which can absorb the carbon pollution. Beijing, which also has high levels of pollution, has installed several huge smog towers to address the issue.

Similarly, while more than Rs 2,200 crore is lying in the environment cess fund, there is little clarity over how much has been spent and how it is being utilised. Some part of the funds were used for the RFID tags for trucks on the Delhi border.

While the Delhi government under Kejriwal has been doling out freebies financed by the taxpayers, there is not much to say for the quality of life in Delhi. Apart from air and water, garbage disposal is also a major problem facing Delhi.

The BJP and Congress have both picked up on the caustic comment by the court to slam Kejriwal as the assembly elections are around the corner and the basic issues of water and air quality are gaining tractions with the voters.IANS