New Delhi, Nov 15: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday to discuss ways to fight the grave issue of air pollution. Over the past few days, Kejriwal has been seeking help from Khattar, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and the Centre to look for ways to help the national capital that has turned into a gas chamber.
The Kejriwal government has blamed stubble burning by farmers in neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab as the prime cause behind the ever deteriorating air quality index of Delhi.
Delhi Smog: Full Coverage
CM Kejriwal had 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.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ruled out a meeting with Kejriwal, asking him not to “politicise” the serious matter.
Amaridner Singh said he failed to understand why the Delhi CM was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be “meaningless and futile”.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has even been reprimanded by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for not doing enough to deal with the ’emergency’ issue. The NGT even slammed the Delhi government for giving exception for women and two-wheelers in the odd-even vehicle rationing plan. (Also Read: Delhi Pollution: How Smog-Choked Beijing Improved Air Quality for Donald Trump’s Visit)
“Why should anyone be exempt from the Odd-Even plan? Are you really serious about the environment? Why don’t you act upon those who are responsible for pollution. How many people have you penalised so far,” the green court asked the government.
Is Kejriwal Government Really Serious For Fight Against Pollution?
The non-serious approach of the Kejriwal government towards fighting the menace of corruption has been exposed through a Right to Information (RTI) query. An RTI has revealed that the Delhi government earned Rs 787 crore as environment cess from 2015 to 2017. However, only Rs 93 lakh was utilised in 2016. Not a single penny has been used in 2017 so far to provide fresh air to Delhiites.
As per the RTI, Rs 93 lakh was paid to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) for payment towards pre-tendering incidental cost related to preparation of RFID documents.
The RTI information certainly raises questions over the Kejriwal government’s intentions over the issue of fighting air pollution. (Also Read: Why Odd-Even Won’t Solve Delhi’s Smog Problem. Kejriwal Government Should Focus on Long-Term Solutions)
Delhi has been experiencing ‘severe’ air quality and has been reeling under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels breached permissible standards by multiple times.