Can’t say that I miss Delhi’s air quality, says top UK minister

The remark evoked not a few laughs in the gathering at Taj Buckingham Gate, but some business representatives later claimed it was becoming increasingly difficult to work in and move with families to Delhi due to the poor air quality.

world Updated: Jun 20, 2018 08:01 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Delhi,Delhi air quality,Taj Buckingham Gate
Foreign tourists wearing masks as they visit Lotus Temple on a smoggy morning in New Delhi on November 7, 2017. (Burhaan Kinu/HT File Photo)

Visitors to India usually return with many long-lasting memories but one recent addition to the list is the poor air quality in Delhi, as Liam Fox, secretary for international trade in the Theresa May government, made it known on Monday.

The occasion was the launch of a UK-India Week with the theme “Global Britain meets global India”, attended by leading players in the relationship between the two countries, including India's high commissioner YK Sinha.

Amid laudatory words about the UK-India relationship – its history, people-to-people contacts and potential for increased trade – Fox recalled his visit to Delhi in November 2016 with Prime Minister Theresa May, who led a large trade delegation.

In his address that talked up the relationship and the prospects for trade as the UKleaves the European Union, Fox said: “In 2016 I was delighted to attend the UK-India Tech Summit in Delhi along with the prime minister, although I can’t say that I miss the air quality that we had in that particular time in Delhi.”

The remark evoked not a few laughs in the gathering at Taj Buckingham Gate, but some business representatives later claimed it was becoming increasingly difficult to work in and move with families to Delhi due to the poor air quality.

“I always put in some masks in my bag before taking the flight to Delhi,” remarked a British businessman of Indian origin, as another recalled the dense smog visible on television screens when Prince Charles visited Delhi in November 2017.

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 08:00 IST