Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday urged states and Centre to work together to tackle the issue of smog in the National Capital Region.
Speaking to reporters outside Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar's office, Kejriwal said, " I had a good discussion with Khattar ji for over one hour. I am grateful to him."
"We may belong to different territories but we have no control over the air," Kejriwal said, adding that top political executive need to work together to tackle the problem.
Kejriwal said that his meeting with Khattar indicated that collective leadership is needed to tackle the issue of air pollution.
"We had fruitful discussions on crop burning, vehicular pollution. We both discusses as well as exchanged suggestions on solutions," Kejriwal said. Addressing the media after the Delhi chief minister, Khattar said, " This is a genuine common concern that smoke has engulfed our capital city. This has been happening for two years."
Khattar added that the Haryana government is taking steps to curb pollution in the state. He added that 500 buses will run on CNG in Gurugram.
Khattar said, "There have been less stubble burning in Haryana . We have largely controlled it. Stubble burning is as much a concern as it is about traffic pollution."
He added, "Delhi is a common concern for us as it is national capital too."
Kejriwal reached Chandigarh on Wednesday morning and met Khattar to discuss the issue of stubble burning and air pollution in the National Capital Region.
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) November 15, 2017
Kejriwal was accompanied by Delhi's environment minister Imran Hussain and Environment Secretary Keshav Chandra.
Myself, Del Env Minister n Env Secy on our way to Haryana to discuss issues related to pollution with Hon'ble CM of Haryana and his team. Look forward to a fruitful discussion — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 15, 2017
Kejriwal was greeted with protests from the Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress when he reached Chandigarh airport. Opposition leaders in Haryana criticised Khattar for agreeing to meet Kejriwal, saying the Delhi chief minister was raking up the issue only to blame farmers in Haryana and Punjab for causing air pollution by burning stubble.
The Delhi chief minister had earlier blamed stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana for the thick smog that has descended over Delhi.
Kejriwal had also written to the chief ministers of both states and requested for a joint meeting to "find solution" to the problem that has led to widespread health concerns in the National Capital Region.
On Tuesday, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh rejected Kejriwal's request to meet and instead asked him to refrain from "trying to politicise a serious issue".
Singh said that air pollution in NCR was not an inter-state matter and needed the Centre's intervention.
Air quality in the National Capital Region saw a marginal improvement from "severe plus" to "severe" on Tuesday.
With inputs from IANS
Published Date: Nov 15, 2017 03:11 pm | Updated Date: Nov 15, 2017 03:11 pm