Open House What more needs to be done to check other sources of pollution, besides stubble burning? : The Tribune India

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Open House What more needs to be done to check other sources of pollution, besides stubble burning?

Pressing need to opt for green energy, transportation solutions

Open House What more needs to be done to check other sources of pollution, besides stubble burning?

Stubble burning has been a leading cause in keeping the AQI in Ludhiana in unhealthy and very unhealthy categories, putting lives of children, elderly and the immunocompromised at risk. File Photos



Turn stubble to manure with bio-enzymes

Although harvesters such as the homegrown Happy Seeder, which shred crop residues into small pieces and evenly distribute them across the field, are available as an alternative to burning stubble, the practice of stubble burning has persisted. This has resulted in an increase in greenhouse emissions over the last few decades, fuelling climate change due to particulate matter contamination. In light of these facts, it is encouraging to see farmers in Ludhiana district have had the fewest farm fire incidents this season, thanks to the district administration’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the adverse effects stubble burning has on the environment. It is critical to understand that emissions from stubble burning have been linked to a variety of health problems, including lung cancer and respiratory infections. Emissions also endanger the health of children, who tend to have weaker immunities. Furthermore, smog caused by stubble burning has a negative impact on people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), worsening their condition. Mitigation options at the farm level, agricultural diversification and the use of paddy straw farming techniques can all help reducing pollution from stubble burning. Another effective method is to spray PUSA, a bio-enzyme that converts stubble into nutrient-rich manure and improves soil health.

Novin christopher

Stubble burning has been a leading cause in keeping the AQI in Ludhiana in unhealthy and very unhealthy categories, putting lives of children, elderly and the immunocompromised at risk. File Photos

Follow NGT guidelines wholeheartedly

We all know air pollution is increasing by the day and that air quality in Ludhiana is very poor. After harvesting crops, the residue should not be burnt. This time around in Punjab, with the efforts of the state government and farmers, there were fewer reports of stubble burning. We all are responsible for creating problems pertaining to air, water, noise, soil, radioactive, light and thermal pollution. Air pollution is the leading cause behind various health problems such as asthma and lung congestion. It is the duty of each and every member of society to celebrate festivals in an eco-friendly manner so that environment is not polluted. Old vehicles which release copious amounts of particulate matter must be banned. Public transport vehicles that work on internal combustion like auto-rickshaws must be replaced with electric alternatives such as e-rickshaws. Similarly, the public should use the public transportation system more often to help keep vehicular traffic and by extension pollution in check. Factories and smaller manufacturing units must follow rules and regulations set by the National Green Tribunal. Those factories which are not following the green laws must not be allowed to function. Those firms utilising coal or fuels such as wood should not be allowed to operate till they opt for renewable sources like hydro-electricity, wind or solar energy. The government must formulate policies which are applicable across religions in the celebration of festivals. There must be a monitoring agency to perform all rituals and traditions related to a particular festival. We all must cooperate to restore and to protect our environment.

Dr mohd saleem farooqui


Set up environment Section in civic body

The problem of stubble burning appears to have been contained to some extent this Rabi harvest season, but the government needs to remain vigilant. At the end of this season, the air quality index (AQI) in Ludhiana still remains around 120 AQI, which is considered unhealthy. Exposure to such polluted air can lead to various respiratory problems and other complications for residents, especially children, the elderly and those already suffering from respiratory or cardiac conditions. The local administration must run effective public awareness campaigns to inform residents that in order to live a healthy and long life, they must adopt carbon neutral practices. The use of CNG and electric vehicles should be encouraged by the government. Guidelines issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) should be followed in letter and spirit to reduce emissions from the various industrial units operating in the district. The PPCB should keep a close watch on factories to stop them from discharging untreated effluents which are often dumped into the MC sewers and then emit poisonous gases. One must not forget that due to negligence of officials concerned, 11 persons lost their life in the Giaspura industrial area of Ludhiana last year, due to inhaling such toxic fumes. The MC and NHAI should ensure the contractors sprinkle water to prevent dust from mixing with the air near construction sites. A separate department focussing on the environment must be set up in the MC to hold public hearings where officials can testify to the city’s enforcement practices in this regard. Only strict enforcement of environment-related laws can ensure sustenance of life on our planet.

RS SEmbhi


Promote, enforce public transport

Among the various types of pollution in India, air pollution is considered the most harmful, even worse than the problem of tobacco. The major causes behind air pollution are vehicular emissions, industrial emissions, thermal power plants, construction dust, waste burning and millions of poor households which are bound to use cheap and dirty fuels such as wood and cow dung for cooking. Air pollution leads to so many health conditions such as infections, chronic obstructive lung disease, heart attack, stroke and lung cancer. To get rid of air pollution and the numerous diseases it causes, we need to reduce the number of trips we make in our cars and eliminate wood fire stoves. We need to avoid burning leaves and trash, and also avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment. The government must promote and enforce use of public transport and increase green cover along the roads. The municipal corporation must sprinkle water on trees along the roads and avoid vacuum cleaning the roads. We should avoid throwing household waste into the rivers. Farmers must not burn stubble. Above all, we all need to cooperate with the local government to curb the problem of air pollution by planting more trees in our surroundings.

Farzana Khan


Enforce Ban on use of adulterated fuel

Air pollution refers to any physical, chemical or biological change in the air. It is the contamination of air by harmful gases, dust and smoke which affects plants, animals and humans drastically. Many factors contribute to air and water pollution in Ludhiana. They range from industry emissions, generator use, stubble burning and use of adulterated fuel for three-wheelers. The adverse meteorological conditions during winter in the shape of dense fog further exacerbates the situation. Effective response to the negative effects of pollution means ensuring Ludhiana is free from all kinds of pollution. It is a fact that this Rabi season, more farmers have steered clear of burning stubble in their fields. This is good news for all stakeholders, but more needs to be done in order to make our city free from air and water pollution. People should use their cars less, instead prefer public transport; civic authorities should use green energy based vehicles, keep your cars in good condition, turn the engine off while idling, don’t burn your garbage, limit backyard fires, plant more trees and take care of them. The government should provide alternatives for stubble burning like stubble collection for commercial purposes, stubble cutter to make manure and promote use of super seeders. Offenders should be penalised. Roads and streets should cleaned on a daily basis. The civic authorities should spray water on surfaces and plants. Industrial emissions also contribute a large share to air pollution. Strict government guidelines when enforced wholeheartedly can easily check rising pollution. Chemical industries should be made to release treated water and people should be cautious and informed about the value of clean and pollution-free environment, as it will keep their health in the best form. These measures have enough to make Ludhiana a smart city in actuality.

Sukhdev Sharma


Shift production units from city alleyways

Ludhiana reported the lowest number of farm fires this harvest season. This is a healthy sign and must be sustained in the future. More farm fires will only exacerbate the problem of pollution, resulting in poor living conditions for the residents. Regarding other measures, pollution also occurs through the number of vehicles on roads and the number and nature of local industries. Vehicular traffic must be checked to control pollution. The money-loaning agencies in the city tend to give car loans readily, adding to the burden. There is a need to reform their loan disbursing mechanisms. Also, each family need not buy more than one or two vehicles. Ludhiana has numerous hosiery and motor parts manufacturing units, and many such small units are operating in the alleyways of

the old city. They are equally responsible for polluting the air. Such units need to be moved outside the residential areas of the city by providing them with some incentives in the form of funds and land. These steps will further help provide a safe environment to the residents

in Ludhiana.

Gautam Dev


Result of sustained drives

The sustained awareness, education and enforcement drives to sensitise all the stakeholders involved have shown results as the incidents of stubble burning have remained the lowest-ever this season so far. We are committed to providing a clean and safe environment to district residents while keeping a check on the sources of pollution. — Sakshi Sawhney, Deputy Commissioner

QUESTION

Ludhiana continues to be on top in the state in the receipt of poll code violation complaints with a record 100 per cent of them acted upon and resolved within stipulated time period. What needs to be done to check such violations and how should the violators be dealt with?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to [email protected] by Thursday (May 23)

#Environment #Farm Fires #Pollution #Stubble Burning


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