High-level meeting held to save Delhi, NCR from pollution due to paddy straw burning
The issue of paddy straw and stubble burning (Parali) by farmers after the harvest in the northern states which leads to a sharp increase in pollution in Delhi and NCR, from September-end to early November, was discussed at a high-level meeting convened by Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav on Thursday.
Measures discussed to reduce pollution include management of stubble in the fields by bio-decomposition on a large scale by the states of UP, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab.
The Commission for air quality improvement has also issued directions specifying that 5-10% of biomass fuels are to be mandatorily utilized by the Thermal Power Plants in NCR region which would allow the use of Parali besides enhancing the income of farmers.
Various measures taken by the States were also discussed during the meeting such as Rs 200 crores has been allocated by the Government of Haryana to provide incentive to farmers for containing burning of paddy straw (Parali). It was mentioned that UP is resorting to bio-decomposition of Parali in 10 lakh acres with an innovative exchange programme allowing exchange of parali with cow dung based manure. Efforts have been made by the Haryana Government for bio-decomposition in 1 lakh acres; by Punjab in 5 lakh acres and by the Delhi government in 4000 acres.
Air pollution in NCR is a cause for concern and the sources are diversified. Major sources which contribute to the poor air quality in the region can be attributed to emission arising from seasonal burning of Parali and other continuous emission sources such as vehicular, Thermal Power Plants and other industrial emissions.
Realizing the requirement to address the constraints and limitation for coherent and participatory approach to deal with the issues and to have Air-shed based approach, Government of India instituted "The Commission for Air Quality Improvement in NCR &AA" through promulgation of an ordinance in 2020, which was subsequently passed as an Act by Parliament in August 2021.
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