Chandigarh: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has accepted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s appeal for a meeting to discuss the issue of stubble burning, while also slamming him for “inability to rise above short term electoral gains” on the issue.
In a letter to Kejriwal, released to media on Monday, Khattar said that a constructive mindset was required to deal with the issue of stubble burning by farmers and everyone had a role to play in this regard.
While accepting Kejriwal’s appeal for a meeting on the issue, Khattar stated that he was available in New Delhi on November 13 and 14 for a meeting and thereafter in Chandigarh to discuss the issue.
Khattar had written back to Kejriwal on November 10, in response to a letter from the latter on November 8.
“Unfortunately, your letter contains no hint of such a mind set. In fact, your reference to the helplessness of farmers in Punjab and Haryana in stubble burning betrays an inability to rise above short term electoral interests. Your assertion that the governments (Punjab and Haryana) have failed to provide them economically viable solution gives away your subconscious awareness of your government’s inaction in this regard,” Khattar said.
He pointed out that the Delhi government had failed to take any steps with regard to stubble burning being stopped in Delhi’s territory where 40,000 families cultivate their land.
Khattar pointed out, quoting the Union Agriculture Minister, that Haryana had used Rs 39 crore out of the Rs 45 crore sanctioned by the Centre for crop residue management.
He said that satellite imagery data clearly showed substantial reduction in number of stubble burning cases in Haryana from 2014 onwards.
The Delhi government is blaming stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana for the smog and air pollution in the national capital and surrounding areas which have led to environment and health concerns for people.