As Delhi recorded a sharp dip in its air quality today, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought an appointment with Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, which was denied as the latter was in Germany to attend a climate change summit. A government official said the chief minister wanted to discuss with the Union minister the possible emergency measures required to bring down high pollution level. “The chief minister has sought time from Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan. However, his (Vardhan) office replied that he is not available and is out (of country). A meeting would be possible only on November 9,” the official said. He alleged that the Delhi government has not received any response from Vardhan as yet for its recent request for aerial sprinkling of water to tackle dust pollution. Vardhan is currently in Bonn city of Germany to attend the UN Climate Change Conference.
Meanwhile, the chief minister has called a meeting with senior officials of environment, health and education departments to take a decision on closure of schools due to high pollution level. Kejriwal said that the national capital has become a a “gas chamber” with a thick haze blanketing the city as pollution levels breached permissible standards by multiple times. “Delhi has become a gas chamber. Every year this happens during this part of year. We have to find a soln to crop burning in adjoining states,” Kejriwal tweeted.