Delhi pollution: After Punjab's Amarinder, Kejriwal trains guns Khattar over smog crisis

Delhi air pollution

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has hit out at his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal over stubble-burning, asking him what he has done to check stubble-burning in Delhi as air pollution peaked to alarming levels. In its response to Kejriwal, the Haryana CM agreed to meet him "any time", but advised him to "rise above short-term electoral interests" in this matter.

On Monday evening, Mr. Kejriwal said in a tweet that Mr. Khattar had called and said that though he would be in Delhi till Tuesday, he was very busy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday India has no intention of grabbing or snatching others' land as all its energy is aimed at achieving a level-playing field with the world.

He added that no single person, organisation or government could improve the quality of air. "Such problems require collective action and everyone should do their bit". "I have been seeking a meeting with both Haryana and Punjab chief ministers since yesterday, but I have not received any response", Kejriwal had said. More importantly, he said, a strong mechanism was needed to enhance the outcome of such constructive steps.

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"Summary: Unless the governments there don't find economically viable alternatives, this won't stop", the Delhi Chief Minister has said. Khattar also claimed that satellite imagery shows a reduction in stubble burning in Haryana since 2014. "You (Kejriwal) may feel free to call me to fine tune a mutually convenient date, time and venue for the meeting", he wrote. In his letter, Mr. Khattar said he was in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday and was open to a meeting with Mr. Kejriwal. There is 20 million ton of paddy straw, where do I ask farmers to store?

Khattar further said that his government spent over Rs 39 crore out of the sanctioned Rs 45 crore to tackle the issue of crop burning, whereas neighbour state Punjab has not used any fund of its allotted Rs 98 crores to check crop burning.

The Delhi government is blaming stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana for the smog and air pollution in the national capital and surrounding areas which have led to environment and health concerns for people. The farmers of both states have been blamed for this toxic smog.

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