Unrelenting Delhi/NCR air pollution finally brings about Kejriwal-Khattar bonhomie


New Delhi/Chandigarh, Nov 15 (UNI) After indulging in a war of words over the air pollution in the national capital and NCR, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said they would be working together to find a solution to the problem, which was not of Delhi alone.

Refused a meeting by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh over the same issue, Mr Kejriwal on Wednesday landed at the office of Mr Khattar in Chandigarh and had a ”very fruitful” discussion, as he said, while talking to reporters.

The Delhi Chief Minister had last week written letters to the Chief Ministers of both the states, where stubble burning was contributing to Delhi/NCR air pollution in a major way, requesting for a meeting.

Addressing the media jointly with Mr Khattar, he said they might belong to different territories, but they had no control over the air.

Mr Kejriwal said his meeting with the Haryana Chief Minister showed that collective leadership was needed to address the problem of air pollution.

Mr Khattar in his remarks said ”Pollution is a common concern, which is affecting the entire North India. The problem is not just limited to a certain state.

”We discussed various issues in a cordial atmosphere, including the burning of Parali (agricultural residue), the smoke emitting out of vehicles and other such issues.
He said his government had taken a number of measures to tackle pollution, including subsidy to farmers, introducing a fleet of 500 CNG buses in Gurgaon and starting the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway.

”During the last two years, Haryana has managed to control the burning of Parali to a large extent. Peasants have been given subsidy to refrain from Parali burning. The ryots were also informed about other ways to dispose off the agricultural waste, instead of putting them afire.

”Delhi is the national capital. We cannot allow it to remain under a thick cover of blanket for days. We have to do something about it,” he added.

In contrast to the response given by the Haryana Chief Minister, Capt Singh refused to meet Mr Kejriwal, saying that the pollution problems of Delhi and Punjab were quite different, so there would be no use meeting him on the issue.