Haryana finally on board to help Delhi fight smog
Delhi now has at least one neighbor willing to help in its fight against hazardous smog. CM Arvind Kejriwal had a meeting with his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar in the morning today. Khattar, who earlier accused Kejriwal of politicizing the issue, has jointly assured "quick action on a number of fronts". Punjab, the other neighbor, continues to ignore Kejriwal's request for a meeting.
Delhi has been battling a 'public health emergency'
Delhi has been struggling to breathe since over a week now as air quality levels have plunged drastically. Stubble burning in nearby regions and slow wind speed intensified the crisis. Experts said the severe air pollution could kill as many as 30,000 people this year. The SC has issued notices to the Centre, Delhi, UP, Punjab and Haryana over the crisis.
But Amarinder Singh doesn't seem too willing to help
Strangely, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has seemed reluctant to engage with Kejriwal to figure out a solution. He had tweeted, "Punjab helpless as problem is widespread & state has no money to compensate farmers for stubble management." He insisted the Centre should intervene. "Just my meeting with Delhi CM resolves nothing." "All of us have to keep politics aside and work together," Kejriwal iterated.
Delhi, Haryana 'jointly identified action points' to prevent re-occurence
The meeting with Khattar didn't come easily either; Kejriwal had to fly to Chandigarh after the former refused to meet him during his two-day Delhi trip. But it was "very positive". "We agreed upon the need for action aimed at predicting (pollution) re-occurrence in 2018 winter," said a joint statement. They have "jointly identified action points" to ensure this situation doesn't occur again.