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Posted at: Nov 3, 2019, 7:23 AM; last updated: Nov 3, 2019, 7:23 AM (IST)

Javadekar slams Kejri for ‘politicising’ pollution

Javadekar slams Kejri for ‘politicising’ pollution
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2

With pollution in north India acquiring deep political hues, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “politicising” the issue, “instigating” schoolchildren and trying to show Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh “in bad light and present them as villains”.

Amid the ongoing blame game over “health emergency” in Delhi, Khattar also wrote to Javadaker, urging him to call a meeting with representatives of five affected states — Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana — “at the earliest, preferably tomorrow” to help “evolve an actionable plan and a joint strategy to address the “serious situation” and “mitigate the suffering/hardships of the people”.

“The growing trend among some stakeholders to play petty politics to divert public attention away from the serious situation is unfortunate and, in itself, a matter of concern,” Khattar wrote in an obvious reference to Kejriwal, but without naming him.

Kejriwal had yesterday asked Delhi schoolchildren to write to Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers, asking them to take requisite action against stubble-burning to curb the menace of air pollution in the national capital.

“Air pollution is a problem which has aggravated in the past 15 years, which is now being effectively remedied by the Narendra Modi government. We have started interstate meetings of NCR ministers and officials. All stakeholders need to act together and not blame each other,” Javadekar said.

“Solution to air pollution is not ‘switch on’ and ‘switch off mode’. It is the sustained efforts which will bring down the pollution. All state agencies and people need to participate in this effort to combat air pollution,” he said on a day the pollution levels dropped marginally due to winds.

Meteorologists expect the situation to improve further as the winds gain speed further tomorrow. With the Kejriwal government rolling the odd-even scheme from Monday, apprehensions are that attempt could be made to credit the controversial plan for improvement in Delhi air quality. The change in winds is expected to bring a marked improvement in air quality next week.

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