New Delhi: Three days after skipping the meet, Environment Secretary CK Mishra on Monday held the crucial high-level meeting on air pollution and said the Central Pollution Control Board has now clearly stated that in case of any kind of deliberate omission or negligence, the concerned officers will be punished.

The Union Environment Secretary has called a high-level meeting with the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh over the severe air pollution in these northern states. Senior officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Power and Ministry of Agriculture were also called for the meeting.

The meeting was called at a time when the quality of air in the national capital region has moved from ‘poor’ category to ‘moderate’ category on Monday. However, some areas continued to remain in the ‘poor’ category.

According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the major pollutants PM 2.5 was recorded at 188 and PM 10 at 174 in Lodhi Road, Aya Nagar docked at 103, Burari crossing at 183 and CRRI Mathura road recorded 192 air quality levels.

The high-level meeting among top officials comes after lawmakers and bureaucrats had on November 15 skipped the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Urban Development meeting over air pollution in the national capital. The meeting was ultimately called off.

According to sources, prominent among those who were missing from that meeting were Vice Chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Commissioners of three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) and most importantly Secretary, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry.

It is important to note that BJP MP from East Delhi and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir also skipped the meeting for which he came under severe attack from the AAP-led Kejrial government in Delhi.

However, the BJP MP said he had to miss the meeting as he was ‘contractually bound’ for a commitment. “I had signed the contract in January and I joined politics in April. Due to contractual obligation, I had to go for the commentary. On 11th November I received the mail and on the same day, I had informed them the reason for not attending the meeting,” he told ANI.