Spiralling COVID-19 cases in the national capital reported over the past fortnight were attributed to a "third wave" of infections by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday.
He said that it was not only the people living in Delhi but also the farmers in Punjab and Haryana who have said that they are highly distressed due to the absence of alternatives to stubble burning, due to which they are left with no option but to burn stubble and bear the brunt of pollution. The Delhi government, along with the people of Delhi, are making all efforts to deal with the issue, he said. On Diwali, on 14th day from 7th to 39th minute, all the people of Delhi together, 2 crore people will worship Lakshmi. Delhi's overall air pollution level was recorded at 333 (very poor) in the morning, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). That is, this time, cracker free Diwali will also be celebrated in Delhi.
The meeting was also attended by Delhi finance secretary and special secretary (health), he said.
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Farmers say "they do not want to burn stubble because it kills the good bacteria on the farmlands, makes the soil infertile, and causes major pollution", Kejriwal said and added, however, "they do not have any option because they are provided with no alternative".
"The COVID-19 situation is deteriorating in Delhi due to rising air pollution", he said while appealing to people to avoid bursting firecrackers this Diwali. "But we are trying to set things right", he said.
He also mentioned the light show held at the Connaught Place a year ago for the Delhiites and said that it had been a great success. This has been continuing for many years now, but no state government has provided any effective solution to the problem of stubble burning. We will celebrate Diwali together this year as well, without burning crackers. "Just like last year, this year too we will pledge not to burst firecracker on Diwali".