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SC seeks response from Centre, four states on plea to curb pollution
14 November 2017, 11:32 | Melissa Porter
Delhi air pollution
Delhi Rural Development Minister Gopal Rai on November 13 took on the Central Govt and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on the increasing levels of air pollution in the National Capital. Khattar said he was in Delhi for two days, and Kejriwal could meet him at any time, but reminded the Delhi CM that "while Punjab has not spent even a paisa out its allocation of Rs 97.58 crore, Haryana has used Rs 39 crore of the allocation of Rs 45 crore released for crop residue management". "You may feel free to call me to fine tune a mutually convenient date, time and venue for the meeting", he wrote.
In a letter dated November 10, Khattar said he was open to meeting Kejriwal to find a solution to the issue.
Authorities have blamed stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana for the smog and air pollution in the National Capital Region, triggering serious health concerns. "Sir, I am coming to Chandigarh on Wednesday to meet Haryana CM. 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.
Earlier in the day, he said his office was constantly trying to fix a meeting with the Haryana chief minister. ML Khattar also launched a scathing attack, saying what had Kejriwal done for "stubble burning over 40000 hectares of land in Delhi". I believe no single person, organisation or government can improve the quality of air. Such collective action problems require everyone to do their bit.... "What steps have been taken to keep them from burning stubble?"
Accusing the Delhi CM of playing politics for vote-bank, he said, "I will be in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday. We direct all the pollution control boards and departments concerned of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to ensure that there is no stubble burning anymore", NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
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