After Arvind Kejriwal held the central government responsible for stubble-burning incidents in Punjab and called for the resignation of senior ministers, Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav hit back at the Delhi CM on Wednesday saying that he has turned Delhi into a “gas chamber”.

Kejriwal told the centre that providing a cash incentive to farmers can help reduce stubble-burning incidents. However, his proposal of giving Rs. 2,500 to farmers for not burning stubble was rejected.

While attacking the Delhi CM, Yadav said that Kejriwal’s proposal was a big “scam”. 

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The trading of punches came against the backdrop of a worsening Air Quality Index in the national capital. Delhi’s air quality drops significantly in the months of October and November every year. However, in 2022, the drop became worse compared to the last two years.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Earth Sciences, stubble burning contributed up to 32% fo the PM 2.5 pollutants in Delhi’s air. The capital recorded AQI in the “Very Poor” category on Wednesday, improving slightly from “Severe” on Tuesday. 

How does Delhi’s air quality compare to other cities? 

Delhi recorded a PM 2.5 AQI of 238 on Wednesday, which falls in the “Very Poor” category. PM 2.5 refers to micro air pollutants that are less than 2.5 microns in size and are significantly hazardous to the human respiratory system.

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PM 2.5 AQI is measured in terms of micrograms particles per cubic metre of air on a 24-hours average. A 238 PM 2.5 AQI means that Delhi has had 238 micrograms of PM 2.5 pollutants in per cubic metre of air in the last 24 hours. 

Compared to Delhi’s 238 PM 2.5 AQI, San Francisco in the US saw an AQI of only 46, for New York it was 29, 45 in Los Angeles, 30 in Berlin, 38 in London and 32 in Paris. China’s capital Beijing, on the other hand, recorded a PM 2.5 AQI of 89 on Wednesday. 

Delhi’s air quality is currently the worst in the world.