GNDU programmes to promote straw management measures : The Tribune India

GNDU programmes to promote straw management measures



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30

Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) started a farmers’ awareness campaign as instructed by the Government of Punjab. The university began with a series of lectures to train the students of the National Service Scheme (NSS) and National Cadet Corps (NCC) on environmental aspects of stubble burning.

Team of experts discusses latest practices

  • To monitor ambient air quality, a team of experts under Prof MS Bhatti and Prof Rajinder Kaur from Environmental Sciences and Dr Amarinder Singh from the Agriculture Department, discussed the latest crop management practices for paddy straw and shared the use of straw mulching and in-situ management as practiced in the university farms
  • The team of experts in the university is also tracking air particulate matter and ambient air quality in city regularly. Prof Bhatti said currently, Amritsar ranks 426 on Air Quality Index with AQI 51 (satisfactory pollution)

As reported every year, there is a steep rise in air pollution levels during the Diwali season along with the issue of stubble burning especially in Punjab, Haryana and NCR. Experts say due to the festival season and the paddy harvesting season coinciding this year, mass awareness needs to be made among masses to prevent drastic increase in air pollution levels.

To monitor ambient air quality, a team of experts under Prof MS Bhatti and Prof Rajinder Kaur from Environmental Sciences and Dr Amarinder Singh from the Agriculture Department, discussed the latest crop management practices for paddy straw and shared the use of straw mulching and in-situ management as practiced in the university farms.

The team of experts in the university is also tracking air particulate matter and ambient air quality in city regularly.

Prof Bhatti said currently, Amritsar ranks 426 on Air Quality Index with AQI 51 (satisfactory pollution). “In the coming months, when the temperature decreases, air quality worsens due to increased concentration of particulate matter 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) to more than 200 micrograms per cubic metre contributed by fossil fuels combustion, transportation load and stubble burning.

As per the State of Global Air (SoGA) Report-2022, PM 2.5 is a major health hazard. Fire count data due to stubble burning from the NASA website ranges between 60,000 and 70,000 incidents in Punjab. But other factors such as industrial pollution, chimneys or vehicular pollution is not accounted,” he said.

While explaining the paddy straw management, Prof Bhatti said: “The incorporation of paddy straw into the soil is a viable option when farmers opt for two-crop system (wheat and rice). When farmers go for three crops, there is a minimal window as vegetables such as potatoes or peas are planted after paddy harvesting and before wheat sowing. Under these circumstances, farmers have no alternative. Stubble burning, if done during September does not lead to that serious problems, but during November, due to fall in morning temperature, paddy becomes wet and results in a lot of air pollution.”

Prof Rajinder Kaur of the Environmental Sciences Department also discussed the in situ and ex situ management of paddy straw and also the use of gasifier plants in Punjab for the production of electricity from straw bales.

#Environment #farm fires #Guru Nanak Dev University GNDU #Pollution #stubble burning

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