Delhi air pollution: The Arvind Kejriwal government has been accused of squatting on Rs 787 crore revenue it earned through environment cess even as the air pollution crisis worsens in the city. The development took place after RTI activist Sanjeev Jain filed an RTI about Delhi government spending break-up. The reply revealed that only Rs 65 lakh were spent in 2016, even though the Delhi government had earned Rs 787 crore through environment cess in 2015-16. Jain lashed out at the Delhi government by saying that the odd-even scheme is only an excuse to hide its failure on this critical issue. However, the Delhi government has denied these accusations by saying that it plans to utilise the money for buying 2000 buses, reported CNN-News 18.
Yesterday, the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had pulled up senior officers, including the chief secretary, over the delay in procurement of new buses. He held a meeting with Chief Secretary M M Kutty and senior officers of all departments concerned, including transport. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also attended the meeting. “In the meeting, the chief minister expressed deep displeasure and pulled up officers over delay in procurement of buses despite the fact the court had asked the city administration to maintain a fleet of at least 11,000 buses many years ago to boost public transport,” an official was quoted saying by PTI.
Earlier this morning, the Delhi CM arrived in Haryana for a meeting with his counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar about the air pollution and the issue of stubble burning that is a major contributory factor. Kejriwal said in a tweet that he was looking forward to fruitful discussions with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) November 15, 2017
He was 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.