October 20, 2021 - 3:22 pm

Raising Concerns For Everyone

Despite all the claims by the government to curb stubble burning, farmers are burning paddy straw in their fields in the area. In a few weeks, millions in India will breathe much more polluted air. It is both the health and environment hazard that repeats every year. The departments concerned have failed to check the practice even in the peripheral area of the city.

                                                     Stubble burning is a post-harvest practice used to clean fields of paddy crop residue by burning them. This practice mostly carried out in Punjab, Haryana and UP contributes solely to the grave winter pollution in the national capital. This results in emissions of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide along with particulate matter. For farmers, burning the residue becomes the easiest way of disposing it owing to lack of time, equipment and awareness. The stubble burning solutions and hurdles can be tackled such as the use of bioagents to turn into compost but the problem is the lack of government push; the other thing one can do is MNREGA to collect straw again the problem is the same; the third thing one can do is  shred and spread the straw but the problem is it's costly for farmers; the next thing is incentive for farmers but it is too little and the movement for the government buying stock from farmers is another option but there are financial implications; the mulching process also needs money but the debt ridden farmers cannot afford this.

                                                      The government should bear the expenses if they want to address the problem. The speeches to the save the environment would not give any solution. There must be viable solution. Critics also state that the government doesn't want some strict action against farmers. It is an election year and farmers are already organised against farm laws .The strictness would agitate them. The potential can be witnessed in providing farmers financial incentives to not burn. Finding effective ways to make farmers prefer crop residue management to burning would bring large gain to society. The budget allocation to such policies will pay for themselves many times over with improved air quality, health and economic productivity for everyone.