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Saturday, December 10, 2022
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Stubble burning down by 64%, says Agri Ministry

New Delhi: Incidences of stubble burning, which contributes lion’s share to the pollution level in north India, has come down by as much as 64 per cent, a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture has said.

Additional Secretary in the Ministry Dr Abhilaksh Likhi, during a visit to Hisar in Haryana, said incidents of burning of paddy residues in the State has come down by 64 per cent in 2020 when compared to 2016. He urged farmed to resort to crop residue management initiated by the Central government and bring an end to this practice.

In neighbouring Punjab, he said, paddy straw burning has also come down by 52 per cent while in Uttar Pradesh, it had come down to 23 per cent.

The crop residue management scheme was launched in 2019 in these three states to check the worsening air pollution level over the NCR region. Air pollution has given Delhi the sobriquet of being one of the major pollutant cities in the world.

The pollution level goes from bad to worse during the winter season when strong north-westerly winds carry the smoke from the burning agriculture fields of Punjab and Haryana towards Delhi and adjoining areas.

Under the central scheme, financial assistance to the tune of 50 per cent is provided to the farmers for purchase of equipment towards residue burning and up to 80 per cent to farmers’ cooperative societies, farmers producer organisations and panchayats for the establishment of custom hiring centres of crop residue management machines.