Punjab

Punjab CM firmly told Kejriwal, he cant meet him on stubble burning issue

November 14, 2017 07:42 PM

Punjab News Express/Satinder Bains
CHANDIGARH: Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has once again ruled out a meeting with his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal to discuss the issue of air pollution resulting from stubble burning, urging him to refrain from trying to politicise such a serious issue.

Responding to media reports triggered by Kejriwal’s tweet, once again seeking a meeting with him, Captain Amarinder said he failed to understand why the Delhi chief minister was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be meaningless and futile.

Kejriwal’s tendency to indulge in petty street politics was well-known, said the Punjab Chief Minister, adding that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was evidently trying to divert public attention from his own government’s failure in Delhi to check the problem of pollution, as exposed by the response of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to the ill-conceived odd-even scheme.

The problems faced by Delhi and Punjab on this count were completely divergent, with no meeting ground, said Captain Amarinder, adding that, unlike Punjab, the Delhi problem was the result mainly of urban pollution caused by mismanaged transportation and unplanned industrial development. Instead of focusing all his attention on resolving these issues, Kejriwal wanted to waste time holding useless discussions, said the Punjab chief minister, adding that he, unfortunately, did not have the same luxury of time.

In any case, the Delhi chief minister had often been accused of leaving the national capital in the midst of a crisis and travelling to other places when his presence has been needed the most back home, Captain Amarinder pointed out, adding that the present instance was a case in point. How else can one explain Kejriwal’s desperation to seek a meeting with him at this juncture, especially when he (Capt Amarinder) had categorically rejected such a suggestion earlier, asked the Punjab chief minister.

Captain Amarinder pointed out that the Supreme Court was also seized of the pollution problem and had already made it clear that it was in favour of a comprehensive long-term solution to it. That is what Punjab was also seeking, said Captain Amarinder, adding that he was hopeful that the apex court would be show the way to resolving the crisis, with the Centre also pitching in, as requested by Punjab.

As far as stubble burning was concerned, it was not a political issue that Kejriwal was trying to project it as but was an economic problem crying for economic solutions, which the central government alone was in a position to provide, said the Punjab Chief Minister. Captain Amarinder further said, in a statement, that he would continue to pursue with the Centre the matter of compensatory allowance for farmers to enable them to opt for alternatives to the dangerous practice of stubble burning.

    

Punjab CM rejects Kejriwal's plea for meeting on pollution
 (19:18)

Chandigarh, Nov 14 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday rejected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea for a meeting on stubble-burning and air pollution in the National Capital Region, and asked him to refrain from "trying to politicise a serious issue".

This followed Kejriwal's request via Twitter for a meeting with Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

The Delhi Chief Minister is scheduled to arrive in Chandigarh on Wednesday to meet his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar.

Responding to media reports triggered by Kejriwal's tweet to once again seek a meeting with him, the Punjab Chief Minister said he "failed to understand why the Delhi Chief Minister was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion will be meaningless and futile".

"Kejriwal's tendency to indulge in petty street politics is well known," Amarinder Singh said, adding that the Aam Aadmi Party leader was "evidently trying to divert public attention from his own government's failure to check pollution in Delhi, as exposed by National Green Tribunal response to the ill-conceived odd-even scheme".

Amarinder Singh said: "The problems faced by Delhi and Punjab on this count are completely divergent, with no meeting ground. Unlike Punjab, the Delhi problem is mainly the result of urban pollution caused by mismanaged transportation and unplanned industrial development. Instead of focusing all his attention on resolving these issues, Kejriwal wants to waste time with holding useless discussions.

He said he did not have the same luxury of time (as Kejriwal).

"The Delhi Chief Minister has often been accused of leaving the national capital in the midst of a crisis and travelling to other places when his presence has been needed the most back home," Amarinder Singh said.

Amarinder Singh said the Supreme Court was already seized of the pollution problem and had already made it clear that it was in favour of a comprehensive long-term solution.

"That is what Punjab is also seeking. I am hopeful that the apex court will show the way to resolve the crisis, with the Centre also pitching in, as requested by Punjab," the Punjab Chief Minister said.

"As far as stubble-burning is concerned, it is not a political issue that Kejriwal is trying to project it as. It is an economic problem crying for economic solutions, which the central government alone is in a position to provide," he said.

Amarinder Singh said he would continue to pursue with the Centre the matter of compensatory allowance for farmers to enable them to opt for alternatives to the dangerous practice of stubble-burning.

Most of north India, including national capital New Delhi, is witnessing smog that is causing environmental and health concerns and leading to serious accidents.

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