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Home India ‘Punjab got lion’s share of stubble help’ | India News

‘Punjab got lion’s share of stubble help’ | India News


NEW DELHI: Punjab received 46% of Rs 1,727 crore central funds for curbing stubble burning in the last three years but saw a 15% increase in farm fires over the 2017 figures while Haryana and Uttar Pradesh significantly reduced crop residue burning during the same period, the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The ministry of environment, forest and climate change, through solicitor general Tushar Mehta and additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati, gave details in an affidavit about the steps taken by the newly-set up Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas.
It said feedback had been sought from the Punjab chief secretary on making available crop residue management (CRM) machines at farmers’ doorsteps as well as popularising the use of Pusa bio-decomposer technology along with CRM machines for in situ management of stubble.
The ministry said after a surge in incidents of stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in 2017, the Centre decided to fund a programme for promotion of agricultural mechanisation and in situ management of crop residue for three years from 2018-19. The Centre allocated Rs 1,727 crore, of which Punjab got Rs 793 crore, Haryana Rs 500 crore, UP Rs 374 crore, Delhi Rs 4.5 crore, Indian Council of Agricultural Research and other central agencies Rs 55 crore.
Though Punjab received the largest amount, the number of farm fires went up by 15% in 2020-21 as compared to 67,079 stubble burning incidents in 2017-18. The ministry said both Haryana and UP saw significant reduction in stubble burning incidents over the years.
The commission on air quality has also advocated coordination between Indian Space Research Organisation, Punjab State Remote Sensing Application Centre, its counterpart in Haryana and National Crop Forecasting Centre for identification of farm fires on real-time basis for quick administrative response/action.
On managing Delhi’s air quality and reducing pollution caused by heavy vehicles, the commission has directed South Delhi Municipal Corporation not to permit any commercial vehicle without RFID tag to enter Delhi through 13 toll plazas where the RFID system and infrastructure has been in place since January 1.
The ministry said the commission, along with other stakeholders like Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Committee, carried out a comprehensive review of potential use of indigenously developed ‘Photonics’ based air quality mapping and monitoring system called Air-Quality Unique Monitoring system for a pilot trial in Delhi. “CPCB and DPCC have been requested to fund this pilot project,” it said.
The commission has asked all thermal power plants in areas under its jurisdiction to adhere to timelines for installation of Flue Gas Desulphurisation system, it added.



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