New Delhi: While speaking at a workshop on ‘Bulk Utilisation of Crop Residue for Economic and Environmental Sustainability’ organised by PHD Chambers on Friday, Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) Chairperson, Bhure Lal said that despite strict enforcement more stubble burning happened than expected. He stressed on the need to bring a change in the mentality of people so that they look at the alternatives to this practice.
Dr. Bhure Lal, Chairman, EPCA & Honourable Member, Supreme Court Monitoring Committee spoke at Bulk Utilization of Crop Residue for Economic and Environmental Sustainability.#Bhurelal #EPCA @timesofindia @IndianExpress @EconomicTimes @htTweets https://t.co/ZEWBZax0uD
— PHD Chamber (@phdchamber) November 16, 2018
Mr. Lal asserted that paddy straw can be a very rich source of fertilisers and its best utilisation would be to merge it with soil and not burn it as burning causes pollution and deterioration of the air quality. He said it had been seen that the younger generation was ready to look for alternatives, but the older generation still wanted to stick to stubble burning. He said,
It takes a period of 45 days for paddy straw to decompose completely and then be used as fertiliser, but farmers usually have just 25 days. If we succeed in reducing this period of 45 days to 25 days, our problems related to stubble burning will be solved.
Mr. Lal noted, “Subsidies have been granted but still the practice of stubble burning is prevailing.” He asserted that this must change in order to tackle the air pollution problem.
V N Kale, Additional Commissioner in the Agriculture Ministry, who was also present on the occasion, said,
Last year about 17 million tonnes was burnt, but this year it was around 13-15 million tonnes. However, this also needs to stop.
Apart from stubble burning, other factors in Delhi such as vehicular emissions, industrial pollution and smoke from firecrackers around Diwali plague the national capital’s air quality every year. This year too the air quality in the national capital during the last two months went off the charts many times. In fact, the system of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) on Thursday reported that agriculture waste burning in the neighbouring states have contributed to only 3 per cent of the air pollution in Delhi and the national capital region. The air quality index (AQI) recorded on Friday was at 285 which is considered ‘poor’.
In order to tackle the menace of air pollution in Delhi-NCR, Mr. Bhure Lal along with CPCB took up a series of measures under emergency action plan, like banning entry of large vehicles in Delhi, and construction activities, plus running a ten-day long Clean Air Campaign, slapping fines on the violators of anti-pollution directives.
Recently, in a letter to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Mr. Lal recommended implementation of either the odd-even scheme or a complete ban on non-CNG private vehicles if the air pollution level in Delhi increased again.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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