Chandigarh, Nov 15: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday met his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar discuss the issue of stubble burning and air pollution in the national capital. Arvind Kejriwal, along with Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain and Environment Department Secretary Keshav Chandra arrived in Chandigarh to meet with Khattar and his team. Khattar had recently written a letter to Kejriwal asking what steps he had taken to end stubble burning by farmers in areas near the national capital.
Arvind Kejriwal had earlier blamed stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana for the thick smog that has descended over Delhi. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief had also written to the Chief Ministers of both states and requested for a joint meeting to “find solution” to the problem that has led to widespread health concerns in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
While Manohar Lal Khatter agreed to meet Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh rejected Delhi CM’s request to meet and instead asked him to refrain from “trying to politicise a serious issue”. The Congress leader said that air pollution in NCR was not an inter-state matter and needed the Centre’s intervention. He further alleged that Kejriwal 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.
The air quality in the national capital showed marked improvement on Tuesday and was recorded as ‘very poor’ following a week-long smog episode when pollutants shot up to emergency levels, but a Supreme Court-appointed panel is not planning to lift the emergency measures such as the ban on trucks and construction immediately.