March 20, 2018

SC seeks response from Centre, four states on plea to curb pollution

14 November 2017, 11:34 | Winifred Adams

Days after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal got into a public spat with Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, he traded charges with his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar over the health emergency in the National Capital Region. "Its an emergency (sic)", Kejriwal tweeted hours after he sent a letter to Captain Amarinder Singh and Manohar Lal Khattar. Would be grateful if u cud spare sometime to meet me. "I look forward to meeting him in Chandigarh on Wednesday (sic)", Kejriwal tweeted.

Kejriwal had recently said that keeping political differences aside, the Centre, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi governments should come together to find a permanent solution to stubble burning which leads to high pollution every year.

Khattar said he was available in New Delhi on November 13 and 14 for a meeting and thereafter in Chandigarh to discuss the issue.

In a letter to Kejriwal, Khattar said some 40,000 families cultivate around 40,000 hectares in Delhi. "I believe that no single person, organisation, or government can improve the quality of air".

Earlier in the day, he said his office was constantly trying to fix a meeting with the Haryana chief minister. Such collective action problems require everyone to do their bit....

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The Haryana CM's letter was in response to a November 8 letter by Kejriwal, in which he had sought time from Khattar to discuss stubble burning.

The Haryana CM has asked me to see him in Chandigarh on Wednesday, the AAP supremo said.

Finally, Kejriwal took to twitter to inform that his Haryana counterpart, who is now in Delhi, was busy and not be able to meet him during is two-day visit. Khattar also claimed that satellite imagery shows a reduction in stubble burning in Haryana since 2014.

When asked about the spat, Khattar told HT: "I am pained at what Kejriwal is doing".

A thick blanket of smog, mainly caused by stubble burning, has enveloped parts of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, severely affecting normal life and troubling people in breathing.

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