Haryana Chief Minister Khattar hits out at Arvind Kejriwal on stubble-burning in Delhi

Published - November 13, 2017 07:18 pm IST - Chandigarh

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has hit out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over stubble-burning, asking him what he has done to check stubble-burning in Delhi, as many parts of country’s northern States continue to battle dense smog.

After Mr. Kejriwal wrote letters last week to his counterparts in Punjab and Haryana, urging a meeting to jointly work on solving the issue of air pollution, Mr. Khattar has responded to Mr. Kejriwal with: “There are some 40,000 families that cultivate around 40,000 hectares in Delhi. What steps have been taken to keep them from stubble-burning?”

Pointing out that no single person, organisation or government can improve the quality of air, Mr. Khattar wrote in a letter dated November 10: “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.”

“The bedrock of such a mechanism is a mindset. Unfortunately, your letter contains no hint of such a mindset. In fact, your reference to the helplessness of farmers in Punjab and Haryana in stubble-burning betrays an inability to rise above short-term electoral interests,” said Mr. Khattar.

Mr. Khattar added that publicly available satellite imagery data shows substantial reduction in stubble-burning cases and fires from 2014 onwards in Haryana.

Maintaining that he was willing to meet Mr. Kejriwal “any time, anywhere” to solve the problem of dangerously bad air quality in the National Capital Region, Mr. Khattar said that he was likely to be in Delhi on November 13 and 14.

“You [Mr. Kejriwal] may feel free to call me to fine tune a mutually convenient date, time and venue for the meeting,” adds Mr. Khattar.

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