Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday wrote to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar requesting him to convene a meeting of chief ministers of Delhi and neighbouring states to prepare a joint strategy to address the problem of severe pollution in the National Capital Region.
Without naming anyone, Khattar also criticised the "growing tendency" on the part of some stakeholders to "play petty politics" on the issue. The chief minister, 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 the governments in the region.
"The ongoing public health emergency in NCR is a matter of serious concern for all of us," he said.
To alleviate the suffering of people, there is a need for coordinating the efforts of all the stakeholders to tackle the issue in a more sensitive and responsible manner, Khattar said in an official statement.
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 Delhi had turned into a "gas chamber" due to smoke arising out of crop burning in Punjab and Haryana.