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Former Union minister M Veerappa Moily today called for an immediate dialogue among the Centre, Delhi and the neighbouring state governments to discuss ways to improve the air quality in the national capital. The senior Congress leader termed the alarming rise in air pollution as a fallout of "financial and administrative problem". "It can be tackled if they put their mind on it, instead of getting into the blame game," the former Karnataka Chief Minister told PTI. The accumulation of waste and its disposal by burning is the main reason for the poor air quality, Moily said adding that "lot of funds" need to be allocated to address the issue by giving it "highest priority". "Mere rhetoric and sloganeering is not going to serve the purpose," he said. The former Union Environment Minister said the main responsibility to address the issue lies with the Delhi government. "They need to do it. The Centre is also part of it, (but) there is no eye-to-eye meeting between the central and the state government," he said. "At least some hours the prime minister of the country should allot for (to address) such (a problem). In the capital where he is living, these problems are happening. Has he called for one meeting at his level?... Forget, even at the level of Environment Minister?, I don't think. I think this is the failure of governance on the part of the Government of India as also the state (Delhi) government". He said farm residue burning (in north India) is one of the factors (contributing to poor air quality), but that's not the sole factor.
It also needs to be tackled. "War footing method should be adopted to dispose of the waste. Waste they burn within here (Delhi) also. And that has to be stopped forever. We have to pump in lot of money for that," Moily said. "The state government has no funds; central government has to allocate immediate funds. And first there should be a proper dialogue between the Central government and state government, then inter-states dialogue, with Haryana in particular. They need to do it and address it immediately on war footing, (but) there is no sense of war footing (urgency on their part to address the issue)," he said. In Delhi, pollutants touched calamitous levels as a thick grey smog hung low across the region over the past few days, prompting the authorities to declare schools shut till Sunday, halt construction activities and ban the entry of trucks into the city.
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