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Farm fires: NGT directs Punjab, Haryana to prepare plan for 2024

Farm fires: NGT directs Punjab, Haryana to prepare plan for 2024

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Punjab and Haryana to come up with a time-bound plan to tackle stubble burning between January 1 and September 1 next year.



Tribune News Service

Aksheev Thakur

New Delhi, December 1

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Punjab and Haryana to come up with a time-bound plan to tackle stubble burning between January 1 and September 1 next year.

While hearing the matter about rise in air pollution due to crop residue burning, it emphasised that farm fires were a serious problem and preparations for remedial action should start now.

Preventive measures

The problem of residue burning arises every year. Therefore, for 2024, a comprehensive and remedial plan needs to start at this stage itself. To prevent such issues, we have directed Punjab and Haryana to prepare a phase-wise action plan. NGT

The tribunal said it had from October 20 regularly monitored the farm fire incidents in Punjab and Haryana and had issued directions to regulate and control the same.

“There were 36,632 farm fire incidents in Punjab and 2,285 of those had occurred from September 15 to November 28 this year. According to the district-wise cumulative data, the maximum number of 5,352 incidents took place in Sangrur district of Punjab, while the corresponding figure for Haryana was 476 in Fatehabad district between September 15 and November 16,” the NGT said.

“The problem of residue burning arises every year. Therefore, for 2024, a comprehensive plan and remedial action needs to start at this stage itself. To prevent such issues, we have directed Punjab and Haryana to prepare a phase-wise action plan. The counsel for Punjab has submitted that such an action plan will be prepared and submitted before the tribunal in six weeks,” NGT’s Principal Bench, headed by chairperson Prakash Shrivastava, said.

The Bench said the incidents of paddy residue burning in Punjab and Haryana had reduced. Eighteen incidents of paddy residue burning were noticed in Punjab on November 28 and no case was reported in Haryana.

During the hearing, various suggestions came up like sensitising the cultivators, preparing a database of farm owners and their mobile numbers, and creating a catalog of suggestions and examining the feasibility of their implementation by an expert committee. It was also suggested that farmer unions, scientists and engineers must be involved in the process, use of harvesters must be restricted and methods for cutting the paddy crop from the bottom must be explored. The panel had last month rapped the Punjab Government for failing to comply with the Supreme Court’s order that directed a ban on stubble burning. The NGT has posted the matter for January 19 after the counsel for Punjab submitted that an action plan would be prepared and submitted before the tribunal in six weeks.

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#Agriculture #Environment #Farm Fires #National Green Tribunal NGT #Pollution #Stubble Burning


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