Air Pollution: Center Tells States to Develop Plan and Raise Farmers’ Awareness to Curb Stubble Burn


The harvest season is upon us. Previously, the Center has asked the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to aim for zero stubble burning. It has also pledged all assistance to accomplish the “noble mission”.

Agriculture and Farm Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has urged states to take all action in a holistic manner, aiming at zero stubble burn during the current season.

The post-harvest incineration of rice straw in Punjab and Haryana is one of the main reasons for an alarming spike in air pollution in the national capital in October and November each year.

According to a publication of the Ministry of Agriculture, pusa decomposer was applied last year in an area of ​​about 5.7 lakh hectares, which is equivalent to about 3.5 million tons of managed paddy straw. During the current year it has been planned to cover 7.15 lakh hectares under pusa decomposer.

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Tomar assessed the readiness of states to manage paddy stubble burning and said the states concerned should effectively use Rs 600 crore made available to them this fiscal year to achieve the desired goals.

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Tomar further said that states should ensure effective use of the 2.07 lakh machines already delivered in the past four years.

He held a high-level review meeting with officials of the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), on the measures taken/intended by the states for stubble management during this year.

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Earlier, the governments of Delhi and Punjab, both led by the Aam Aadmi party, have joined forces to curb stubble burning in the coming harvest season this year. Under the plan, pusa biodecomposer will be sprayed on stubble and then the crop residues will be mixed into the soil so that farmers do not have to burn the crop residues.

The government of Punjab has put in place a comprehensive plan involving a mass awareness campaign, distributing thousands of crop residue management machines and involving students and religious sites to combat the burning of paddy stubble during the coming harvest season.


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