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Commission for Air Quality Management report

  • IASbaba
  • October 21, 2021
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Commission for Air Quality Management report

Part of: Prelims and GS-III – Pollution; Stubble burning

Context According to a report by the Commission for Air Quality Management, there is a 70% reduction so far in instances of stubble burning in Punjab and 18% in Haryana from last year.

  • This, however, is a preliminary analysis as harvesting is still under way and the day-to-day variation in the number of fires is extremely high.

Key takeaways 

  • There are several initiatives taken to decrease stubble burning such as the increased use of happy seeder [harvesting equipment] and the use of bio-decomposers but this will take time for results to show. 
  • Over the years it has been observed that fire counts increase when there is too little time between the paddy being ready for harvesting and the right time to sow wheat. 
  • This year, excessive moisture in northern India due to an overhanging monsoon and a delay in the markets opening for trading, may further squeeze the time available for farmers to harvest and sow, further forcing them to set their fields alight (fire).

What is Stubble Burning?

  • Stubble burning is the act of setting fire to crop residue to remove them from the field to sow the next crop
  • It is a traditional practice in Punjab and Haryana to clean off the rice chaff to prepare the fields for winter sowing
  • It begins around October and peaks in November, coinciding with the withdrawal of southwest monsoon.
  • On December 10, 2015, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned crop residue burning in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab

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