Delhi smog: MoEF nod for tech to curb crop residue burning

Delhi smog: MoEF nod for tech to curb crop residue burning

The Central Government on Thursday approved a Rs 100 crore project to popularise various straw management methods among north Indian farmers to stop them from burning crop residue in 2018. This season, Delhi turned into a gas chamber following crop residue burning.

Approved by the Union Environment and Forest Ministry under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change, the project seeks to popularise currently available technical options among the farmers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Farm technologies that would be tested include Happy Seeder, Baler and Laser Leveller, said an environment ministry official. At the moment, farmers don't widely use these machines because of the high cost involved.

The officials hoped that the state governments as well as individual farmers would financially contribute to expand the use of such tools.

As the national capital region remains engulfed in a thick blanket of smog between mid-October and mid-November, scientists identified crop residue burning as one of the major causes.

Growing problem

The problem of crop residue burning has been intensifying over the years, with Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh being major burning hotspots, the green ministry said in a statement.

Increased mechanisation, declining number of livestock, long period required for composting and lack of economically viable alternative uses for crop residue were the reasons for largescale stubble burning to clear fields before sowing the winter crop.

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