Pollution: Need Central intervention, just meet of CMs inconsequential, Amarinder tells Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday sought a meeting with his counterparts in Punjab and Haryana to discuss ways to tackle the alarming air pollution levels in Delhi.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Nov 09, 2017, 00:44 AM IST
Pollution: Need Central intervention, just meet of CMs inconsequential, Amarinder tells Kejriwal
Pic courtesy: PTI

Chandigarh: Even as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday sought a meeting with his counterparts in Punjab and Haryana to discuss ways to tackle the alarming air pollution levels in Delhi, Amarinder Singh said that the situation warranted urgent intervention by the Central government.

He also said that the Centre should immediately sanction compensation for farmers to check stubble burning.

"Given the gravity of the situation, it is for the central government to rise to the occasion and come to the rescue of the farmers with financial aid to compensate for stubble management," the Punjab CM said.

Singh pointed out that like Delhi, Punjab too was suffering due to air pollution, forcing closure of schools and other institutions in many districts and change in timings in others.

The situation in Punjab was so serious that a spate of accidents over the past few days due to smog claimed several lives, he said and expressed apprehension that the situation might worsen in "absence of immediate central intervention."

"Delay on part of the Centre to address the problem is costing the northern states heavy," the CM said, adding the Narendra Modi government should provide help to the states immediate to resolve the crisis.

Over Kejriwal seeking a meeting to discuss the issue, Amarinder Singh said discussion of CMs would serve no meaningful purpose, as the Centre alone is equipped to address this issue, which has inter-state implications.

Earlier, in letters to the CMs of Haryana and Punjab, Kejriwal said the governments in the neighbouring states had failed to provide farmers with viable alternatives to stubble burning, a process that leads to air pollution in Delhi.

"You are aware about the poor air quality in Delhi. It has become difficult to breath. Delhi has become a gas chamber and I had to order the closure of schools in Delhi to save young children from the adverse effect of poor air quality," he said in identical letters to Manohar Lal Khattar of Haryana and Singh, PTI reported.

The Delhi CM said one of the main reasons for the poor quality of Delhi's air this time of the year was the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.

"Farmers are helpless. In the absence of any economically viable alternative, they are forced to burn stubbles," he said, adding that the governments had failed to provide them with viable solutions.

Kejriwal also offered to jointly work with Punjab and Haryana to resolve the issue "in a spirit of mutual cooperation in larger public interest".

(With PTI inputs)