An estimated $600 mn is needed to provide farmers with alternatives, but the BJP of PM Narendra Modi and Opposition parties in power in New Delhi and nearby Punjab are squabbling over who will pay
As pollution level climbed to 12 times above the recommended limit this week in India’s capital, government officials said they knew what was needed to control the smoky haze, but nothing would be done, at least this year.
A major source of the smog at this time of year across northern India, including New Delhi, is farmers burning the stubble of the previous crop to prepare for new plantings in November.
An estimated $600 million is needed to provide farmers with alternatives, but the Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and opposition parties in power in New Delhi and nearby Punjab states are squabbling over who will pay, said three federal government officials who have been briefed on the situation.
“Nothing more is likely to happen this year,” said one of them. “We’re now praying. Only God can save us.”
The official said he had bought pollution masks for his family and installed air purifiers at his home in New Delhi, now the most polluted city in the world, according to the Brookings Institute. The city is home to more than 20 million people.
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