Crucial meet on Delhi air pollution cancelled after Gautam Gambhir, other top officials remain absent

Apart from Gautam Gambhir, the commissioners of all three Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Vice-Chairman of DDA and Secretary/Joint Secretary of Environment remained absent. Only four out of the over 30 invitees were reportedly present in the meeting,

Crucial meet on Delhi air pollution cancelled after Gautam Gambhir, other top officials remain absent

New Delhi: A crucial meeting of a parliamentary standing committee to discuss the rising levels of air pollution in Delhi was skipped by top parliamentarians, including Gautam Gambhir, and other officials. Due to the officials failed to turn up, the meeting had to be cancelled at the last minute.

Apart from Gambhir, the commissioners of all three Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Vice-Chairman of DDA and Secretary/Joint Secretary of Environment remained absent. Only four out of the over 30 invitees were reportedly present in the meeting, among there were officials from deputy secretary level, who arrived on behalf of the Ministry of Environment,  and junior officers from Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

The meeting was scheduled for Friday morning as the national capital is facing severe air pollution. A similar condition prevails in Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Noida too. The objective of the meeting was to discuss rising air pollution in Delhi-NCR and measure to tackle it. 

On giving the high-level meeting a miss, Commissioner of North Delhi Municipal Corporation Varsha Joshi told news agency IANS that she is in Lucknow to attend another meeting and therefore, she could not be there.

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"The Urban Mobility Conference is organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which was planned months in advance," Joshi said.

Gambhir, a cricketer-turned-politician, is currently in Indore. He is doing commentary for the India vs Bangladesh test match. 

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court pulled up the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government over rising air pollution and meanwhile, asked the Centre to prepare a road map to tackle the deadly situation. 

"Delhi is suffering badly, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is almost 600 even today. How do people breathe?" SC asked the Delhi government and also asked whether there has been any relief from pollution from the Odd-Even scheme.

(With IANS inputs)