New Delhi: The squabbling and blame game among political leaders continues even as air pollution across North India continued to be a cause of concern. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in a letter that he also tweeted out, has asked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal what steps has he taken to end stubble burning by farmers in areas near the national capital as air pollution peaked to alarming levels. In response to Delhi Chief Minister’s allegation that the main reason for air pollution in the national capital is the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, Chief Minister Khattar said that collective action was needed. In his letter dated November 10 to Chief Minister Kejriwal, the Haryana Chief Minister also said, “Your assertion ‘the Governments have failed to provide them economically viable solution’ gives away your subconscious awareness of your government’s inaction in this regard.”
On November 8, Delhi Chief Minister had sent a letter to neighbouring Punjab and Haryana states, urging them to stop their farmers from burning crop stubble to clear their fields for the next sowing season, blaming that as the primary reason for the thick, toxic fog that has enveloped the national capital over the last few days.
Chief Minister Kejriwal said, “I feel terrible that the people of Delhi are facing this huge pollution crisis. Farmers burning stubble is a problem, it is an economic issue. The governments of Haryana and Punjab have to find a solution, otherwise we will face these problems every year,” adding that fining farmers was not an option. “How will the poor farmer pay?” he said.
“I believe no single person, organisation or government can improve the quality of air. Such collective problems require everyone to do their bit. And more importantly, a strong mechanism to enhance the outcome of such constructive steps,” Mr Khattar told Arvind Kejriwal in his letter.
Mr Khattar further questioned the Delhi government on steps that have been taken to stop 40,000 families that cultivate around 40,000 hectares in Delhi. In addition to this, he also conveyed that as per the information provided by Union Agriculture Minister, Haryana has already allocated Rs. 39 crore towards crop residue management, out of the total Rs 45 crore funds.
— Manohar Lal (@mlkhattar) November 13, 2017
“We have taken all possible steps in Haryana. We have also requested people burning stubble to not do so,” Mr Khattar said, alleging that Punjab is the bigger culprit. “Punjab had not spent even a paisa out of its allocation of Rs. 97.58 crore,” he further added.
In a tweet, Haryana CM also stated that 2014 onwards, there has been a substantial reduction in number of stubble burning cases as per publicly available satellite data.
While Haryana CM said that he was open to meet CM Arvind Kejriwal to find a solution to the issue, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh last week said the situation warranted Centre’s intervention as it has inter-state implications.
(With inputs from PTI)
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