Expressing anguish at the "unprecedented" air pollution in Delhi and partially owning up the blame for it due to his government's failure to stop fully the Punjab farmers from burning stubble, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday urged the Centre to provide for a separate bonus to farmers to manage stubble. Singh expressed his anger and anguish and made the pro-farmer proposal in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal persistently blaming stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab for rise in Delhi's air pollution.
“No Indian, and definitely no person in Punjab, is oblivious to the misery of our brethren in the national capital,” said Singh in letter, expressing his anguish over Delhiites having to breathe in the severe air pollution in the national capital. “How can a country be called developed when its capital city has been reduced to a gas chamber, not by any natural disaster but a series of man-made ones?” he asked.
Making it clear that he had "no intention of washing his hands off the Punjab's responsibility" behind the air pollution in Delhi, the Punjab chief minister admitted that stubble fires, supported by the winds blowing in the wrong direction, were contributing to the toxic levels of air pollution in Delhi.
The chief minister said he had personally suggested to the Prime Minister and other Union ministers on several occasions to provide for a separate bonus at the rate of Rs 100 per quintal to facilitate stubble management by farmers.