Chandigarh: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal arrived here today for a meeting with his Haryana counterpart to discuss air pollution and the issue of stubble burning that is a major contributory factor. Kejriwal said in a tweet that he was looking forward to fruitful discussions with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
The Delhi chief minister is accompanied by his environment minister and environment secretary. Kejriwal had earlier said that Khattar had called him to Chandigarh today as he could not meet in Delhi because he was very busy.
The Delhi chief minister had sought a meeting with his counterparts from Haryana and Punjab to find a solution to stubble burning in neighbouring states, a major source of high pollution levels in Delhi.
The practice of burning of crop residue by farmers of the two states of Punjab and Haryana has been blamed for the toxic smog enveloping the region every winter.
Kejriwal recently said the Centre, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi governments should keep political differences aside and come together to find a permanent solution to stubble burning.
Yesterday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh again ruled out a meeting with Kejriwal, asking him not to "politicise" the serious matter. Singh claimed he failed to understand why the Delhi chief minister was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be "meaningless and futile".
He alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was "trying to divert" public attention from his government's "failure" to check the problem of pollution in Delhi, as exposed in the National Green Tribunal's response to the "ill-conceived" odd-even scheme.
He also said there was no point in meeting Kejriwal and asserted that stubble burning was an issue to be resolved by the Centre. In a letter to Kejriwal on November 10, Khattar had asked Kejriwal what steps he had taken to end stubble burning by farmers in areas near the national capital. PTI