Arvind Kejriwal, Haryana CM Khattar and Punjab counterpart Amarinder play blame game over crop residue burning
Khattar said he might be in Delhi on November 13 and 14 and was open to discuss the issue while also taking a jibe at Amarinder saying that Punjab has not used any of its allotted Rs 98 crore fund.
CHANDIGARH: Hitting out at Delhi Chief Minister and Arvind Kejriwal, his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar asked the AAP convenor what steps he has taken to end stubble-burning by farmers as air pollution peaked to alarming levels. Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention on the issue.
In a letter dated November 10, Khattar said he was open to meeting Kejriwal to find a solution to the issue. “What steps did Kejriwal take for stubble burning over 40,000 hectares of land in Delhi. I write this in response to your letter dated November 8. 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 is needed to enhance the outcome of such constructive steps,” wrote Khattar.
Khattar said he might be in Delhi on November 13 and 14. “ You (Kejriwal) may feel free to call me to fine tune a mutually convenient date, time and venue for the meeting,” he wrote.
Last week, Kejriwal sought a meeting with his Haryana and Punjab counterparts to discuss ways to manage the worsening air pollution in Delhi and neighbouring states.
Kejriwal tweeted on Monday evening, “Khattar ji called. He is in Delhi till tomorrow. Says he is very busy and can’t meet me in Delhi. He has asked me to come to Chandigarh on Wednesday. I look forward to meeting him in Chandigarh on Wednesday.”
Taking a jibe at Amarinder, Khattar said his government spent over Rs 39 crore out of the sanctioned Rs 45 crore to tackle crop residue burning, whereas Punjab has not used any fund of its allotted Rs 98 crore to check the same..
He said that as per satellite imagery data, there has been a substantial reduction in crop stubble burning cases and fires from 2014 onwards in Haryana.
A thick blanket of smog caused by the burning has engulfed parts of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, severely affecting normal life and troubling people in breathing. The farmers of both states have been blamed for this toxic smog.