Punjab, Harayna requested to urgently implement measures to cut back stubble burning

Delhi, September 22 

A Supreme Court-mandated air pollution management authority wrote to Punjab and Haryana on Tuesday, asking them to “urgently” implement measures to cut back stubble burning—one of many main causes behind excessive ranges of air air pollution in Delhi throughout winter.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, stubble burning contributed considerably to air air pollution in Delhi final 12 months with the share of farm fireplace smoke in particulate matter peaking to 44 per cent in November.

“It has been brought to our notice that early burning of crop residue is taking place in Punjab. According to a SAFAR estimate, fire counts were 42 on September 21, around 20 on September 20 and nil on September 15,” Bhure Lal, the chairman of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), mentioned in a letter to the 2 states.

Satellite imagery from area company National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have additionally proven that farmers have began burning crop residue in components of Punjab and Haryana.

Though farm fires have began in Punjab and neighbouring border areas, its affect on Delhi’s air high quality can be minimal for the following three days since predominant winds should not supportive for transport and accumulation of pollution, in accordance with SAFAR, the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air high quality monitor.

On Tuesday, the nationwide capital recorded an air high quality index of 115, which falls within the reasonable class.

“While the impact on air pollution is currently minimal as wind speed is high and there is dispersion, the fact is that crop burning season has started and it needs to be urgently addressed as per the directions of the Supreme Court,” Bhure Lal mentioned.

He requested the states to make all efforts to adjust to the instructions of the apex court docket which has specified that measures have to be taken for each “in-situ and ex-situ stubble management so that incidence of fire is minimised, if not eliminated”.

The EPCA chairman mentioned the air pollution management authority had been monitoring progress with the states and had labored out clear benchmarks and targets to be achieved earlier than the approaching season.

“We recognise that we have lost time because of COVID-19, but given that the winter season is now approaching, we need to tackle this with urgency and ensure compliance,” he mentioned.

Bhure Lal requested Punjab and Haryana to make sure there may be an implementation of measures to cut back stubble burning and that machines are procured and made accessible to farmers at inexpensive charges and with comfort.

The EPCA additionally requested them to arrange a management room to problem instructions and be certain that machines are throughout the attain of farmers, and likewise take motion towards non-compliance reported from the sphere.

The Punjab authorities had earlier advised the EPCA that it has been utilising crop residue by biomass-based energy crops and numerous bio-CNG initiatives are beneath course of.

The state has now proposed to arrange a 25-megawatt solar-biomass undertaking.

Punjab has already arrange 7,378 customized hiring centres (CHCs) to supply gear for crop residue administration. The state will set up 5,200 extra CHCs this 12 months to perform the goal of getting one CHC in every village. The administration will present 220 balers this 12 months, in accordance with the EPCA.

Farmers promote bales to close by factories, primarily biomass crops, at round Rs 120 per quintal.

Till now, the state has supplied 50,185 farm machines to CHCs and people.

Last 12 months, Punjab produced round 20 million tonnes of paddy residue. Farmers burnt 9.Eight million tonnes of it. These figures can be used as a benchmark for the state’s efficiency this 12 months.

The Haryana authorities had advised EPCA {that a} committee has been set as much as look into the progress of bio-CNG and bio-ethanol initiatives and biomass crops to handle crop residue.

The state has arrange 2,879 CHCs and a couple of,000 extra can be established by October. As many as 791 balers can be provided by the point harvesting begins. Haryana has deployed 24,705 machines, of which 8,777 are owned by people and the remaining are with CHCs.

Last 12 months, Haryana produced seven million tonnes of paddy residue, of which farmers burnt 1.23 million tonnes.

Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh appeal to consideration through the paddy harvesting season between October 15 and November 15.

Farmers set their fields on fireplace to shortly clear off the crop residue left behind after harvesting and earlier than cultivating wheat and potato. It is likely one of the most important causes for the alarming spike in air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

Despite a ban on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, farmers proceed to defy it as there’s a brief window between harvesting of paddy and sowing of wheat. The excessive value of handbook or mechanical administration of straw is a significant cause why farmers select to burn it.

State governments are offering 50 to 80 per cent subsidy to farmers and cooperative societies to purchase trendy farm gear for in-situ administration of paddy straw, putting in paddy straw-based energy crops and operating an enormous consciousness marketing campaign towards stubble burning.

But these measures are but to make any important affect on the bottom. PTI

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