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Posted at: Nov 15, 2019, 6:31 PM; last updated: Nov 15, 2019, 9:22 PM (IST)

Delhi air pollution: Gambhir, Hema Malini among MPs who skip crucial meet

Delhi air pollution: Gambhir, Hema Malini among MPs who skip crucial meet
Photo courtersy: @VVSLaxman281

New Delhi, November 15
 
A meeting of a parliamentary standing committee to discuss the rising levels of air pollution in the national capital was postponed as most participants, including Member of Parliament from East Delhi, Gautam Gambhir, were absent.
 
Apart from Gambhir, the commissioners of all three Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Vice-Chairman of DDA and Secretary/Joint Secretary of Environment did not turn up, forcing postponement of the meeting.
 
Only four—Hussain Masoodi, CR Patil, Jagdambika Pal and Sanjay Singh— out of the over 30 invitees were reportedly present in the meeting.
 
"The agenda for Friday's meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee was circulated a week back, which clearly stated that the objective was to discuss air pollution in Delhi-NCR. However, East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir did not attend it," a tweet by Aam Aadmi Party said.
 
"Delhi is choking and Gambhir is busy enjoying in Indore," AAP said. 
 
Commissioner of North Delhi Municipal Corporation Varsha Joshi told IANS that she is in Lucknow attending a meeting on urban mobility scheduled months in advance, therefore, she could not attend the Delhi meeting.
 
"The Urban Mobility Conference is organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which was planned months in advance," Joshi said.
 
Environment ministry clarifies 
 
The Environment Ministry said in a clarification that some of its officials were present during the deliberations, while one was busy in a crucial Supreme Court hearing.
 
A statement issued by a spokesperson said the ministry was represented by the deputy secretary and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) officials at the meeting convened by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Urban Development.
 
"The ministry was represented by Deputy Secretary and also from Central Pollution Control Board. The Joint Secretary could not attend as she was to appear for an important matter in Supreme Court. Also, detailed notes were submitted to the ministry of Urban Development prior as was asked," the official spokesperson said.
 
Earlier in the day, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told a press conference that he would look into the matter.
 
“I will find out and investigate,” he said when asked about it.
 
The ministry spokesperson said the joint secretary could not attend the meeting as she was to appear in a matter in the Supreme Court.
 
“Also, detailed notes were submitted to the Ministry of Urban Development prior, as was asked,” he added.
 
‘False narrative’
 
After a photo that former cricketer VVS Laxman tweeted showed him enjoying poha and jalebi in Indore led to merciless trolling, Gambhir accused the ruling Aam Aadmi Party of weaving a “false narrative” around the incident.
 
This is his complete statement
 
‘My commitment to my constituency and my city should be judged by the work that is happening there. From getting high-end compost machines installed for clearing Ghazipur landfill to reforming EDMC schools by providing digital classes and infrastructure, to installing sanitary pad vending machines for the benefit of women & providing free food to the poor, I have left no stone unturned in the past 6 months in making sure that people who voted for me get the best. This is not even 1% of what I intend to do in the next 4.5 years. I sit in my constituency office in East Delhi from 11 am. and leave only when all the people who had come are assured that their grievances have been addressed. I have even pledged my salary as an MP to get things done which do not come under the ambit of MP LAD funds as they are earmarked for macro-level things. We are also in talks to install giant air purifiers with cutting edge technology, across the constituency which will substantially reduce pollution. The pilot version will be installed within the next few weeks. I have not entered politics to make money but I do have a family to support. I believe in hard earned money and not using public funds to further political ambitions. Making my commercial engagements (which were entered into before I had become an MP) an issue to mask the incompetence and political greed of their leader, is the saddest thing that the party, which claims to represent honest people, could do. But I have complete faith in the people of my constituency, my city and my country. They will judge me by my work and not by the propaganda and false narrative spread by the minions of the "honest CM" of Delhi.’
 
Here is a complete list of those who were supposed to attend the meeting.
 
RAJYA SABHA 
 
MJ Akbar 
YS Chowdary 
Tazeen Fauna 
Ahamed Hassan 
Sanjay Dattatraya Kakade 
Kumar Ketkar 
Sanjay Singh 
RK Sinha 
 
LOK SABHA 
Abdul Majeed Arif
SP Singh Baghel 
Sanjay Kumar Bandi 
Kalyan Banerjee 
Benny Behanan 
Ramcharan Bohm 
Hibi Eden 
Gautam Gambhir 
Syed lmtiaz Jalecl 
Shankar Lalwani 
Shrimati Hema Malini 
Hasnain Masoodi 
PC Mohan 
Jagdambika Pal 
CR Patil 
Sunil Kumar Pintu 
Adala Prabhakara Reddy 
Aparajita Sarangi 
Rahul Ramesh Shewale 
Sudhakar Tukaram Shrangare 
Sunil Kumar Soni 

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