Delhi air pollution: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday called his meeting with Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar fruitful. The AAP convener said that they have discussed several measures which are necessary to check alarming air pollution in the national capital and its adjacent areas. Expressing gratitude to Khattar for giving him time, Kejriwal pitched for taking collective efforts to control the pollution level. Kejriwal had asserted that Delhi and Haryana will take all possible steps.
Earlier CM Kejriwal had arrived in Chandigarh today for the meeting. It has been learnt that CM Kejriwal was greeted with protests by activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress when he reached the Chandigarh airport, according to IANS report.
“We agreed upon the need for action on many measures aimed at preventing its re-occurrence in the winter of 2018. During discussions we agreed that the serious health risks to which such episodes of smog expose one and all require concrete and quick action on a number of fronts,” a joint statement reads.
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— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) November 15, 2017
“In today’s meeting we covered crop residue burning and vehicular pollution issue. we resolve to put in sustained efforts in pursuance of the jointly identified action points in the coming days weeks and months,” the statement reads.
“We look forward to covering other sources of air and water pollution in our future discussions,” the joint statement said.
Kejriwal said in a tweet that he was looking forward to fruitful discussions with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The Delhi chief minister is accompanied by his environment minister and environment secretary. Kejriwal had earlier said that Khattar had called him to Chandigarh today as he could not meet in Delhi because he was very busy.
The Delhi chief minister had sought a meeting with his counterparts from Haryana and Punjab to find a solution to stubble burning in neighbouring states, a major source of high pollution levels in Delhi. The practice of burning of crop residue by farmers of the two states of Punjab and Haryana has been blamed for the toxic smog enveloping the region every winter.
Take a look at Haryana CM ML Khattar tweet
— CMO Haryana (@cmohry) November 15, 2017
Kejriwal recently said the Centre, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi governments should keep political differences aside and come together to find a permanent solution to stubble burning.
Yesterday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh again ruled out a meeting with Kejriwal, asking him not to “politicise” the serious matter. Singh claimed he failed to understand why the Delhi chief minister was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be “meaningless and futile”.
He alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was “trying to divert” public attention from his government’s “failure” to check the problem of pollution in Delhi, as exposed in the National Green Tribunal’s response to the “ill-conceived” odd-even scheme.
He also said there was no point in meeting Kejriwal and asserted that stubble burning was an issue to be resolved by the Centre.
In a letter to Kejriwal on November 10, Khattar had asked Kejriwal what steps he had taken to end stubble burning by farmers in areas near the national capital.