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With Delhi-NCR gasping for fresh air, CMs urge Centre to convene urgent meeting


Chandigarh, Nov 02: Criticising the "petty politics" being played on the issue of pollution in the NCR, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday requested Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to convene a meeting of CMs of Delhi and neighbouring states to prepare a joint strategy to address this problem.

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"No single person, organisation or government can improve the quality of air in the national capital region (NCR), playing politics on this serious situation is unfortunate and, in itself, a matter of concern," Khattar said in a letter to Javadekar.

The focus should be on providing relief and succour to the people who are suffering due to the prevalent severe pollution in the NCR for the last couple of days.

Without naming anyone, Khattar also criticised the "growing tendency" on the part of some stakeholders to "play petty politics" on the issue.

Echoing similar sentiments, Haryana''s Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said since it is an environmental issue all states should collectively take action, which has a long-term impact on combating air pollution and the matter can be resolved once and for all.

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"We should rise above politics," Chautala told to reporters here.

Khattar, in a telephonic conversation with Javadekar earlier in the day, requested him to convene a meeting, preferably on Sunday, to prepare a well thought-out strategy that would synergise the efforts of different organisations and governments in the region.

"The ongoing public health emergency in the NCR is a matter of serious concern for all of us," he said.

To alleviate the suffering of the people, there is a need for coordinating the efforts of all the stakeholders to tackle the issue in a more sensitive and responsible manner, the chief minister said in an official statement here.

He said as no single person, organisation or government can improve the quality of air in the NCR, "playing politics" on this serious situation is unfortunate and, in itself, a matter of concern.

Following up his conversation with a letter, Khattar said the meeting of all chief ministers and environment ministers of the states concerned would help evolve an actionable plan and a joint strategy to address the serious situation and to mitigate the suffering and hardships of people.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had claimed that the national capital had turned into a "gas chamber" due to smoke arising out of crop burning in Punjab and Haryana.

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