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Air pollution: Arvind Kejriwal to meet Manohar Lal Khattar in Chandigarh

14 November 2017

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had asked Kejriwal what steps he has taken to end stubble burning by farmers in areas near the national capital as air pollution peaked to alarming levels.

Kejriwal said Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had called him and told him that the latter was in Delhi till tomorrow, but can not meet him in Delhi, citing "he (Khattar) was very busy". Would be grateful if you could spare sometime to meet me.

Khattar on Monday tweeted a copy of a letter he sent to Kejriwal on November 10, asking him to "rise above short-term electoral gains" and focus on collective action in the fight against pollution.

Khattar said he was available in New Delhi on November 13 and 14 for a meeting and thereafter in Chandigarh to discuss the issue.

Stubble burning in farms in Delhi's neighbouring states is a major contributor to the smog engulfing the capital, Kejriwal has alleged. Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention on the issue. There are 40,000 farmers' families who cultivate as many hectares in Delhi. I believe no single person, organisation or government can improve the quality of air.

The Haryana CM has asked me to see him in Chandigarh on Wednesday, the AAP supremo said. "What steps have been taken to keep them from burning stubble?"

Finally, Kejriwal took to twitter to inform that his Haryana counterpart, who is now in Delhi, was busy and not be able to meet him during is two-day visit. "A meeting between just the two of us makes no sense to me, unless it is facilitated by the Centre and involves the CMs of other states", he had told the Print. "Unfortunately your letter contains no hint of such a mindset", Khattar wrote in his reply to Kejriwal's invitation for talks.

A thick blanket of smog caused by the burning has engulfed parts of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, severely affecting normal life and troubling people in breathing.