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NGT asks Punjab govt to disclose how it will achieve target of reducing stubble burning incidents

The NGT was hearing the matter regarding stubble burning in Punjab which was aggravating the issue of air pollution during the winter season in the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas.
Last Updated : 07 April 2024, 15:08 IST
Last Updated : 07 April 2024, 15:08 IST

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New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed the Punjab government to disclose in its comprehensive report how it will achieve its projected target for reducing incidents of stubble burning in the present year.

The NGT was hearing the matter regarding stubble burning in Punjab which was aggravating the issue of air pollution during the winter season in the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas.

In January this year, the tribunal directed Punjab to file an "amended fresh action plan" to tackle the "serious issue".

A bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava noted that an action taken report dated March 19 had been filed by the Punjab Pollution Control Board which included the details of paddy straw utilisation in 2023 along with the target for the present year.

The bench also comprising judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A Senthil Vel said the report disclosed the target for 2024 upon implementation of the crop residue management plan, including the strategy for both ex-situ and in-situ management of paddy straw.

The ex-situ management included using the paddy straw for industrial boilers, biomass power plants, compressed bio-gas plants, brick kilns, bio-ethanol and thermal plants and fodder, the bench said noting the report.

"It is reported that the Punjab state government is further strengthening the information, education and communication (IEC) activities amongst the farming community for making behavioural change so as to totally eradicate the stubble burning incidents," the tribunal said in an order dated April 3.

It, however, said that the state government's counsel, when asked certain questions, sought an adjournment, seeking time to file a detailed comprehensive report, including the details regarding in-situ and ex-situ management of straw.

Allowing the request, the tribunal said, "The said report will also include the details relating to the mode and manner of removal of straw from the field, its transportation to different units for ex-situ management, the capacity of such units i.e, industrial boilers etc."

The NGT also directed the state government to "disclose how the projected figures for 2024 will be achieved, the preparation for the same till now and the preparation in the coming months to achieve the target".

The tribunal directed the state government to file its report a week before the next date of hearing on July 12.

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Published 07 April 2024, 15:08 IST

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