- Delhi enters second week of crisis with toxic smog
- Crop waste being set on fire in Punjab, Haryana adding to smog
- Arvind Kejriwal and ML Khattar unable to schedule meeting
After much back and forth- all of it publicly - on who was playing hard to get, Mr Kejriwal said he will travel to Chandigarh on Wednesday to meet with Mr Khattar - who, he pointedly said, has refused to meet him while on a two-day visit to Delhi.
Khattar ji called. He is in Del till tomo. Says he is v busy n can't meet me in Del. He has asked me to come to Chandigarh on Wed. I look forward to meeting him in Chandigarh on Wed- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 13, 2017
What Delhi is dealing with has been described by doctors as a public heath crisis - a thick cloud of toxic smog 10 times the recommended limit. The crisis is now in its second week.
The contributing factors include dust from construction, vehicle exhaust and illegal crop burning in the agrarian states of Punjab and Haryana which neighbour Delhi.
"I will be in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday. There is no response from your office on meeting," Mr Khattar said in his reply to Mr Kejriwal today in a letter. He also asked, "There are 40,000 farmers in Delhi. What are you doing about them?"
Attaching an ndtv.com story on Mr Khattar's response, the Delhi Chief Minister tweeted, "Sir, my office is constantly trying to fix meeting."
Finally, a meeting was fixed for Wednesday in Chandigarh as Mr Khattar was too busy to see him in Delhi, Mr Kejriwal tweeted. Every winter as farmers burn crop stubble, the smoke travels towards Delhi and mixes with other pollutants to cover the capital with a deadly grey smog. Schools reopened today after being shut down last week to prevent children from exposure to poisonous airborne particles, known as PM2.5. This count reached 495 this morning, compared with the upper limit of "good" quality air at 50.
Mr Kejriwal "has his own viewpoints on everything without understanding the situation," Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said last week after Mr Kejriwal suggested that the Punjab and Haryana governments rise above politics and help solve Delhi's air quality emergency.
He said he had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers of affected states along with union ministers since the Centre's role was crucial in finding a solution in an interstate matter.
The Met department says rain over the next three days could help clear the smog.
Mr Kejriwal's government, meanwhile, is waiting for court clearance to implement "the odd-even scheme" that imposes traffic restrictions by allowing cars with license plates ending in even numbers on the road on one day, and odd numbers the next.