Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to end the governance impasse in the National Capital so that the Delhi government can address the issue of rising pollution in the city. Kejriwal, who is on a sit-in protest at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office over strike by bureaucrats, wrote a letter to PM Modi, requesting his immediate intervention in the case. Alleging that Baijal is doing “nothing” to break the impasse despite repeated requests from the AAP, Kejriwal wrote that the Centre and the L-G have control over the IAS officers and had they been under the Delhi government, their “strike” would have ended within hours.
Citing instances when the developmental projects in the city were allegedly stuck due to the bureaucratic crisis, Kejriwal wrote that the government has failed to address the issue of air pollution as the officers have not been attending meetings with ministers for the past three months. “Pollution in Delhi is a major problem. Earlier, we used to have a meeting every 15 days to check for measures to curb pollution. But now because of the strike, we did not have any meeting.” This is at a time when the air quality levels in the city slipped to “severe” category in the last three days, with major monitoring stations reporting PM 10 and PM 2.5 as the primary pollutants. People have been advised to stay indoors after the toxic pollutants in the air were said to cause breathing difficulties.
The chief minister also said that cleaning of drains before the monsoon, renovating the school infrastructure, setting up of mohalla clinics, the Signature Bridge project has been stuck in a limbo due to the alleged strike by the IAS officers.
“Due to strike, several works are being affected. As L-G is doing nothing to end IAS officers’ strike, Delhi government and the people of Delhi request you (PM) with folded hands to get the strike called off immediately so the Delhi Government can resume its work,” Kejriwal said in his letter written on the fourth day of his protest.
Kejriwal, along with Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai have been staging a sit-in at the LG’s office since Monday to protest against agitating IAS officials and to get an approval for the doorstep ration delivery scheme.
The IAS officers, meanwhile, maintained that terming the agitation as a “strike” was wrong, as they have merely been skipping routine meetings to protest against the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash at the CM’s residence on February 19.