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  Metros   Delhi  08 Aug 2018  ‘States failed to check stubble burning’

‘States failed to check stubble burning’

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 8, 2018, 5:34 am IST
Updated : Aug 8, 2018, 5:34 am IST

Committee noted that subsidy schemes have not helped much to address the issue.

The burning of paddy straw and wheat every year during October, November and April months is one of the major contributors of air pollution in Delhi.
 The burning of paddy straw and wheat every year during October, November and April months is one of the major contributors of air pollution in Delhi.

New Delhi: Despite a series of measures, including a statutory ban, taken by the neighbouring states of Delhi to curb crop burning, the air pollution in Delhi-NCR hasn’t improved much and, in fact, has been deteriorating further, a parliamentary report said on air pollution in the national capital.  

Expressing strong reservations towards “failure” of states like Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh in taking effective steps, the standing committee report said that weak enforcement of statutory ban “coupled with laxity towards sensitivity and gravity of the matter” has adversely affected the ongoing efforts to tackle the issue.

“It is further worrisome to note that despite the statutory ban imposed by these states on the crop residue burning, many such instances have been brought to the notice of the committee from these states. Satellites images have also showed that paddy burning in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh had increased after Diwali during the year 2017 adding to the problem of air pollution,” said the report.

The burning of paddy straw and wheat every year during October, November and April months is one of the major contributors of air pollution in Delhi.

The states, in their replies to the committee, had listed various measures taken by them like setting up district-level committees, announcing monetary rewards, starting SMS alerts to track stubble burning incidents, etc. but the committee opined that these have come “rather late”.

The committee also noted that while Punjab and Haryana run subsidy schemes to promote disposal of the agricultural residues in a scientific manner instead of burning it, these schemes have not helped much to address the issue.

“The committee is surprised to note that no scientific study has been undertaken by any of the concerned state governments or by the central government to ascertain the level of damage that has been caused to the environment on account of stubble burning,” it said and recommended the ministry of environment, forest and climate change, in consultation with states, undertake one such study to study the impact and methodology to mitigate it. It also said that unscientific methods to deal with crop stalk and solid waste in the neighbouring states have “aggravated the problem”.

It further said that instead of penalising the farmers, they should be provided with practical solutions and recommended that the ministry and states should launch a massive awareness programme.

D14

Tags: air pollution, satellites, parliamentary report