Punjab stumbling in stubble burning fight

first_imgEarlier this week, a committee headed by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Nripendra Misra, took stock of preparations by Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to combat pollution from the burning of stubble. Various studies say that during November such burning of straw contributes to 20%-50% of the pollution in Delhi.A key focus of the meeting was ascertaining the extent to which States had distributed agricultural equipment to prevent such burning, according to an official privy to the proceedings but who didn’t want to be identified.‘Haryana well on target’“Haryana is well on target but Punjab (which has the largest wheat acreage) is lagging behind,” the official said. States have been provided nearly ₹650 crore — courtesy the Union Agriculture Ministry — to help farmers buy subsidised equipment such as Happy Seeder, Paddy Straw Chopper/Cutter, Mulcher, RMB Plough, Shrub Cutter, Zero Till Drill, Super Straw Management System on Combine Harvesters, Rotary Slasher and Rotavator.All of this equipment is expected to disbursed by October 15. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said last week that Punjab has delivered 7,337 subsidised agro-machines/farm equipment. Of this, 2,819 machines/equipment were given to individual farmers, 2,144 to cooperative societies and 2,374 to Custom Hiring Centres across the State. In all 24,315 machines are expected to be delivered.The committee, which meets monthly, is an inter-ministerial task force led by the Principal Secretary and comprises of Secretaries from the Union Ministries of Earth Sciences, Agriculture, Environment, Power as well as Chief Secretaries of the States involved.To deal with pollution in Delhi, the State had readied 70 road-sweeping machines as well as 400 water tankers to check rising dust. (With inputs from Vikas Vasudeva)last_img

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