Stubbles, mountains

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Source: The post is based on an article “Stubbles, Mountains” published in The Times of India on 30th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 Ecology and Environment

Relevance: Air Pollution, Air Pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR)

News: Recently, the Punjab government has proposed to provide a cash incentive of Rs 2,500 per acre, to paddy farmers aimed to curb stubble burning.

The Punjab and Delhi government has struck a consensus. Both are willing to contribute Rs 500 each.

What are the challenges facing the proposal?

There are multiple source states of air pollution in Delhi NCR, including Haryana and UP. However, except for Delhi and Punjab, the other 2 states have not agreed to the proposal.

The farmers are disinterested in various straw management machines, and the bio-decomposer developed by ICAR-IARI.

The Himalayan ecology is fast changing. It poses a threat to the Northern plains of India. For example, the Himalayan glaciers are melting, its pristine forests are facing forest fires, and the highway construction like Char Dham aggravates the environmental situation of the natural ecosystem.

What should be done?

The GOI with its resources, political capital, and statutory powers must intervene. The cash incentives along with bio-decomposers must be prioritized.

In addition to the government of Punjab, and Delhi, the Union government and Haryana government must also be roped in to financially contribute to make the cash incentive scheme successful.

Further, if the farmers take cash incentives and continue to burn stubble, then they should be penalized.

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