Even as Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Sunday woke up to a thick layer of smog enveloping it and limiting the visibility to barely few feet, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar started his day with “music”.
Ironic, it may sound, but that”s exactly how the man tasked to take care of environment started the manic Sunday. Taking to Twitter, the Minister wrote: “Start your day with music”. He also posted a link of “Swagatam” by Emani Sankara Sastry calling it “scintillating”.
This happened on a day when Delhi”s air quality index (AQI) crossed 620 and parts of the city, like Bawana, saw it reach apocalyptic 999.
The visibility was so bad that flights had to be diverted from Delhi airport and Amitabh Kant, a top bureaucrat of Narendra Modi government, took to Twitter to express his wish to dump the city for good and settle in the coastal state of Kerala, down south.
But none of it seemed to have featured in Javadekar”s priority list. No wonder, very soon he was called out by fellow Delhites.
While A.K. Singh likened him to “Nero” who fiddled while Rome was burning, another Twitterati Amrita Bahl, posted a screenshot of Delhi”s AQI stating its ”critical” at 625. “Actually Sir, THIS is how my day started… my lungs don”t have the capacity to even hum this scintillating composition!”, Bahl tweeted.
Another netizen Rajiv Sharma put the blame squarely on the Minister saying, “I start with a mad cough and mask. Thanks to you the environment minister”.
The sentiment was reflected by CEO of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant, perceived to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who posted four serene photographs of Kerala with crystal clear sky and lush green landscape, and tweeted: “Away from the hustle, bustle of Delhi in God”s Own Country where I have lived, worked and served the people of the state.”
Then came Kant”s bombshell: “This is where I will settle down in life”. He added two hashtags — ”Kerala” and ”pollution Kills”.
The Met Department had indicated some relief on Sunday, but it didn”t materialise.