Kejriwal, Khattar agree to find ways to beat air pollution

RSTV Bureau
File Photo of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

File Photo of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held meeting with his Haryana counterpart Manohal Lal Khattar to discuss air pollution and the issue of stubble burning that is a major contributory factor. The issue of spike in air pollution in northern Indian region has dominated the discourse in the last week with government of Delhi also facing flak from the NGT.

“We had a very good and detailed discussion. We all have decided to work out the solution. It is beginning and we will take this forward, Arvind Kejriwal said.

Terming the talks “fruitful”, the Delhi Chief Minister said apart from crop burning, issues like introduction of CNG vehicles, construction and transport pollution too were taken up in the meeting.

Speaking to the press along with Arvind Kejriwal, his counterpart ML Khattar called pollution spike a “genuine concern”, something which has been happening for last two years and not just confined to one state.

The issue of crop burning has been among the bone of contention, with experts and Delhi government officials blaming the Haryana and Punjab governments over what they termed lack of action on their part.

FILE: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

FILE: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

Khattar on his part, though said Haryana government had taken proactive steps in this regard too.

“Instances of crop burning has been lesser this year and we will keep on taking steps to reduce this even more,” Khattar said.

The Delhi chief minister was accompanied by his environment minister and environment secretary.

The Delhi chief minister had sought a meeting with his counterparts from Haryana and Punjab to find a solution to stubble burning in neighbouring states, a major source of high pollution levels in Delhi.

While the meeting with Khattar was on cards since Tuesday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh again ruled out a meeting with Kejriwal, asking him not to “politicise” the serious matter.

The practice of burning of crop residue by farmers of the two states of Punjab and Haryana has been blamed for the toxic smog enveloping the region every winter.

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.

(With inputs from PTI)