Kejriwal, Khattar resolve to put sustained efforts to curb pollution
Delhi CM Kejriwal held a nearly 90-minute meeting at Haryana counterpart Khattar’s residence.
CHANDIGARH: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday resolved to put in "sustained efforts" to check pollution and discussed measures to ensure smog does not envelop the national capital in the winter of 2018.
Kejriwal held a nearly 90-minute meeting at Khattar's residence here and it primarily centred around air pollution and stubble burning that is a major contributory factor to smog, which has engulfed the national capital and parts of Haryana and Punjab over the past nearly two weeks.
A joint statement was issued after the meeting, in which their environment ministers and other top officials also participated.
"We the chief ministers of Delhi and Haryana are happy to have had a very fruitful meeting at Chandigarh today. We recognised our deep and shared concern over the recent episode of heavy smog in our National Capital Region. We agreed upon the need for action on many measures aimed at preventing its re-occurrence in the winter of 2018," according to the statement.
It said that during the discussions, the two sides agreed that "serious health risks to which such episodes of smog expose one and all require concrete and quick action on a number of fronts."
"In today's meeting we covered crop residue burning and vehicular pollution issues. We resolve to put in sustained efforts in pursuance of the jointly identified action points in the coming days, weeks and months.
"We look forward to covering other sources of air and water pollution in our future discussions."
The two chief ministers also briefly met the media later after their meeting.
Kejriwal said that states may be separated by territorial boundaries, but nobody has control over air and joint efforts need to be put in by all stakeholders to check pollution.
"Therefore, it is very important that the country's top political executive, both of states and the Centre, everyone will have to collectively find a solution to this problem," he said.
Khattar said there is really genuine concern about smog, which has engulfed northern states, especially in NCR.
He also said that his government has decided to give subsidy to farmers and government procurement agencies on the purchase of 8-9 implements in order to tackle stubble burning problem.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh again ruled out a meeting with Kejriwal, asking him not to "politicise" the serious matter.
CMs discuss construction of new major roads between Delhi, Gurugram
GURUGRAM: Among the major points discussed in Wednesday's meeting between Chief Ministers of Haryana and Delhi was the increase in vehicular pollution because of large movement of traffic between Delhi and Haryana. Though not described fully, the issue of opening a route between Badaprpur and Gurugram was raised. Large number of vehicles leading to daily traffic jams is a major grievance shared by commuters in both cities. Only two major routes functional between Delhi and Gurugram, namely Mehrauli- Gurugram route and NH-8. Chock-a-bloc traffic is seen daily at Mehrauli-Gurugram route starting from Andheria Modh. Even commuters at NH-8, where a lot of revamping activities have taken place over the years, face similar hassles. In the past, there have been plans of making a road from Vasant Kunj to Gurugram. The plan, however, is yet to be implemented. According to government sources, forested areas of Aravallis at MG road add to challenges of development. Meanwhile, there are plans to improve connectivity from the Dwarka side and from Faridabad. The Kundli Manesar-Palwal expressway according to Manohar Lal Khattar, is expected to be complete by next year, which will reduce the number of trucks entering Delhi.