After trading blows on stubble burning in Delhi-NCR contributing to Delhi’s rising pollution levels, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar will meet on Wednesday in Chandigarh to discuss the issue. “Khattar ji called. He is in Delhi tomorrow. Says he is (very) busy (and) can’t meet me in (Delhi). He has asked to me to come to Chandigarh on (Wednesday). I look forward to meeting him…,” Kejriwal wrote on Twitter.
Last week, Kejriwal had written to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Khattar, seeking a meeting to discuss joint measures to solve Delhi’s air crisis. Kejriwal said the two governments had failed to provide farmers with viable alternatives to stubble burning.
Hitting out at Kejriwal in a letter on Friday, the Haryana CM asked what steps he had taken to end stubble burning by farmers in the capital. “Your (Kejriwal) reference to the helplessness of farmers in ‘Punjab and Haryana’ in stubble burning betrays an inability to rise above short-term electoral interests. Your assertion that ‘the governments have failed to provide them economically viable solutions’ gives away your subconscious awareness of your government’s inaction in this regard.”
Claiming that satellite images show a “substantial” reduction in crop burning cases in Haryana since 2014, Khattar said, “There are some 40,000 families who cultivate around 40,000 hectares in Delhi. What steps have been taken to keep them (away) from stubble burning?”
On setting up a mechanism to combat pollution, Khattar said, “I also believe that the bedrock for such a mechanism is a mind set. To borrow Tagore’s words, ‘Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; where words come out from the depth of truth…’ Unfortunately, your letter contains no hint of such a mindset.”
Union minister Harsh Vardhan: City’s air has improved
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan Monday claimed there has been an improvement in Delhi’s air quality due to the efforts made by agencies. “There has been a decline in PM 10 values… and PM 2.5 levels,” he said.