Kejriwal & Khattar Meet Over Pollution Crisis, Amarinder Stays Out
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar in Chandigarh, on the issue of unhealthy levels of pollution in Delhi and its neighbouring state. He was accompanied by the Delhi Environment Minister and the Environment Secretary.
Addressing reporters CM Khattar said:
We are concerned about it in the states, but we are specifically concerned about Delhi since it’s the capital of India. We are trying to finish the construction of the (Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway) KMP roads by March to lessen the vehicular traffic in Delhi. We will also follow the judiciary and NGT orders.
Earlier, he had tweeted out to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh requesting him for a meeting on 15 November, to discuss the problem of stubble burning, but Singh ruled out a meeting with his Delhi counterpart 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".
Singh alleged that Kejriwal's tendency to indulge in petty street politics was well-known. He said Kejriwal should stop politicising the serious issue of stubble-burning.
The problems faced by the national capital and Punjab on this count were completely different with no meeting, Singh said. He said unlike Punjab, Delhi's problem was the result mainly of urban pollution caused by "mismanaged" transportation and "unplanned" industrial development.
Other than holding discussions with the Chief Ministers of the neighbouring states, the Delhi government also filed a fresh petition which would allow them to implement odd-even, hours after the NGT (National Green Tribunal) rejected Delhi government’s petition to exempt women drivers and two-wheelers on 14 November from odd-even.
In the second petition as well, the Delhi government has stuck to its request of exempting women drivers and two-wheelers for a year or give them the time to add 2,000 buses to the state’s transport system. The Delhi government also proposed that the NGT direct the Delhi’s neighboring states to implement the odd-even scheme.
The Delhi government was forced to withdraw its first petition after the NGT was not convinced with its submission that the city did not have adequate public transport to cater to over 25 lakh commuters.
NGT’s Comments After Rejecting Delhi Govt's First Plea
The tribunal, which expressed concern over the high pollution level which was an "environmental and health emergency", said the city should "not gift infected lungs to its children."
The bench, however, allowed non-polluting industries who manufacture essential goods to operate.
During the hearing, the NGT also asked what the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh doing other than blaming each other.
The tribunal noted that as per reports of the pollution control committees, two-wheelers caused greater pollution, and according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), approximately 30 per cent pollution was caused by them.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)
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