Even though winter hasn’t yet arrived, the national capital’s air quality has already fallen into the poor category. According to data on stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana, the environmental problems are only expected to get worse over the next several days.
According to the Consortium for Research on Agroecosystem Monitoring and Modelling from Space at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), paddy residue burning incidents have increased after October 1. Moreover, this is a matter of concern for the governments of Punjab and Haryana. Subsequently, the huge amount of smoke produced, is believed to be one of the topmost causes for air pollution and smog in Delhi.
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Meanwhile, Bhagwant Mann, the chief minister of Punjab, told the farmer unions’ delegates at a conference that the state government is providing 1.22 lakh stubble management devices, and that the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has created an app to help farmers use these machines. Moreover, CM Bhagwant Mann has urged the farmers to support the government.
When asked about the unions’ demand for incentives of ₹6,000 per acre to farmers for the management of paddy stubble, CM Mann responded, “It is the need of the hour to safeguard the ecosystem of the state.”
According to CM Mann, farmers do not want to burn the crop leftovers (paddy straws) since the smoke it produces can harm their own children’s lungs. After speaking with the heads of the two groups of farmers, he declared, “I have called a meeting on the matter to discuss such issues.”
“The payment has been placed into the bank accounts of 17,000 farmers,” he further added, stating that the financial assistance has begun to be distributed to farmers to encourage direct sowing of paddy. “Within a week, the remaining farmers’ payments will also be cleared,” said CM Mann. However, despite numerous efforts, the rising number of stubble burning cases in the state, is a matter of concern.