Will put together insurance policies to manage stubble burning, says new air high quality panel

Vibha Sharma 

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23

The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas said it will take steps and prepare policies to control stubble burning on a day AAP MLA and chairperson of Environment Committee of Delhi Assembly Atishi urged the newly-appointed green panel to hold chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana liable for causing pollution in the national capital.

According to Environment Ministry spokesperson, the three (AAP) MLAs requested the Commission to take prompt action against Punjab and Haryana for “criminal negligence regarding stubble burning” and suggested options, including the in-situ decomposition technology developed by IARI, for large-scale adoption.

“The Commission informed them that it is seized of the matter and will take required steps, including formulation of  appropriate policies and strategies to control stubble burning, in due consultations with stakeholders concerned on a priority basis,” the MoEFCC official said.

Official and non-official members of panel met the three MLAs following a request from the Chairperson of the Committee on Environment, Delhi Government.

Atishi later said they raised two main issues, one was asking them to “direct Haryana and Punjab governments to implement as soon as possible the solution by the Pusa institute and the Delhi government in dealing with the stubble burning issue”.

“Earlier it used to be said there is no solution to the issue of stubble burning but now a solution has come so it should be implemented,” she said. 

Atishi said she told the commission that just giving direction is not enough and that it is the responsibility of Haryana and Punjab to stop stubble burning. “If they don’t do it, strict action must be taken against them. The commission can file FIR and imprison anyone for up to 5 years for causing pollution in Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region) so we have asked it to hold the CMs of Haryana and Punjab liable and accountable and take strict action against them,” she added.

According to scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, “Pusa bio-decomposer” solution can turn crop residue into manure in 15 to 20 days and therefore, can prevent stubble burning.

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