Part of: Prelims and GS III – Pollution
Context The Centre-constituted Commission for Air Quality Management said in a statement that a reduction in the area under paddy cultivation in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, and a shift away from paddy varieties that take long to mature, could see a reduction in stubble burning this year.
- Both Central and State Governments of Haryana, Punjab and U.P. have been taking measures to diversify crops as well as to reduce the use of PUSA-44 variety of paddy.
- Crop diversification and moving away from PUSA-44 variety with short duration High Yielding Varieties are part of the framework and action plan for control of stubble burning.
- The total paddy area in Haryana, Punjab and the eight NCR (National Capital Region) districts of UP has reduced by 7.72%.
- Similarly, total paddy straw generation from the non-basmati variety of rice is likely to be reduced by 12.42%.
- It’s the non-basmati variety of rice, whose stalk remains, that is usually burnt off by farmers ahead of sowing wheat.
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