New Delhi, Sept 25 : Stubble burning has become an grave agricultural issues for the states of Punjab and Haryana as addressed by the Supreme Court of India. The SC has therefore, appointed Environment Pollution ( Prevention and Control ) Authority to tackle with the problem.
The authority has said to the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana that early burning of crop residue is largely being observed in the entire region. They are expected to address the issue urgently and take action against it. According to the recent SAFAR estimate, which is based on INSAT - 3, and NASA satellite data, there were 42 such fires on Sept 21 alone.
According to the reports, these agricultural fires begin around late September continuing for a whole month and are at a peak in the last week of October, when the paddy crops are harvested. Delhi and the region around, which is already in the radar of dominant pollution, is largely polluted due to these fires since the particulate matter produced out of the fires float into the city.
Reports suggest that Stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh counts for 17 - 78% of the total particulate matter emission in Delhi during winter.
These field are burnt mainly in order to prepare the field for sowing of Rabi wheat quickly. But since the process of collecting the stubble to burn it separately is expensive for most of the farmers, they prefer burning it on the field itself. The equipments such Rotavator and Happy Seeder which help in this process are expensive. Therefore the farmers are left with the option to burn the Stubble in field.
In order to deal with this problem the Punjab Government has ordered to use harvester machines compounded with Super Straw Management System ( Super SMS ) which manages the crop residue and thus there is no need for farmers to burn the residues before sowing the next crop. The Centrally sponsored scheme for agricultural mechanization for the in - situ crop residue management implemented in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi provides the farmers with 50% of the total purchase cost of these machines. The scheme has reduced the burning by 15%.
Since the Stubble burning problem is yet a significant environmental threat for the entire region of Punjab, Haryana as well as Delhi, the Supreme Court has asked the states to prioritize the issue.
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