Stubble burning reduced by 41% in 2018: Centre to SC

For the year 2018, there has been a reduction of 11%, 29.5% and 24.5% in the number of burning events as compared to 2017 in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The Union government has told the Supreme Court that there has been 41% reduction in incidents of stubble burning in 2018 in comparison to 2016 in states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, amid growing concern on worsening air quality and thick smog that has engulfed Delhi.

The government said that it has prepared a scheme on the promotion of agriculture machination for management of crop residue in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh with an outlay of Rs 1151.80 crore to deal with the issue of stubble burning, considered as a major contributor of pollution here.

It claimed as per the analysis of paddy residue burning in the three states in 2018 with the use of satellite remote sensing, there has been a reduction of 15% and 41% in the number of burning events in comparison to that of 2017 and 2016 respectively.

For the year 2018, there has been a reduction of 11%, 29.5% and 24.5% in the number of burning events as compared to 2017 in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

It has said more than 62,000 machines have been delivered to farmers in 2018-19 for crop management.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change further stated that for the year 2018-19, the distribution of machines in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh was of 33075, 11941 and 18706 respectively. In the current year, the sanctioned number of distribution has been 24,224, 14,677 and 7,418 in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh respectively.

Besides, “States have also been asked to put in place strict surveillance and enforcement mechanism to prevent stubble burning around the peak season. Moreover, states have also been asked to put incentive schemes in place to honour villages and gram panchayats, who achieve zero stubble burning,” it said.

During 2018-19, the central government disbursed its 100% share of funds amounting to Rs 269.38 crore, Rs 137.38 crore and Rs 148.60 crore and Rs 28.51 crore to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and central agencies respectively for distribution of in-situ crop residue management machinery to farmers under subsidy, establishment of custom hiring centers and undertaking of information, education and communication activities and creating awareness among farmers, it said.

The top court, which has been considering the issue of air pollution in the MC Mehta case since 1985, put the matter for further hearing on November 4.

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