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Stubble Burning Not Going To Stop On Its Own, Consider Granting Subsidy To Farmers: SC

The Supreme Court on January 20 asked Punjab and Haryana governments to consider granting subsidy to the farmers to stop stubble burning, the key reason for the rising air pollution in Delhi-NCR

New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday (January 20) said stubble burning, the key reason for the rising air pollution in Delhi and NCR, was not going to stop merely by issuing directions and asked Punjab and Haryana governments to consider granting some kind of subsidy to the farmers. A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri, S A Nazeer and M R Shah said the court was of the view that the problem of stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana is not going to stop on its own by merely issuing directions and advisory.

Also Read: Air Pollution: Punjab Signs A Memorandum Of Understanding Check Stubble Burning

We ourselves are saying that this (directions and advisory) is not going to work. The farmers do not have any cheaper method to deal with the issue of stubble. You consider granting some kind of subsidy to them so that crop burning can stop, the bench said.

The bench said the farmers will not do it on their own and they should be given some kind of incentive to ensure that stubble burning stops. The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on February 26 and asked the parties to compile affidavits and suggestions of experts on pollution in the meantime.

Also Read: Biomass Burning, One Of The Major Sources Of Air Pollution May Spike 45% By 2050: Study

Earlier, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had said it would be filing its report in the matter. The court had also asked the States Pollution Control Boards to file their reports in the meantime. The court had also asked Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to file norms and formulations which were required for producing ‘green crackers’ as stated in the affidavit of the Ministry of Environment and Forest. Prior to this, the apex court had said that it will hear on the second week of January the plea seeking steps to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR caused by stubble burning in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana and had asked the parties to file their affidavits. It had said that all pending applications including that of firecracker manufacturers and compliance report of states with regard to use of green crackers will be taken up for hearing later.

Also Read: IKEA Plans To Convert Rice Straw Into Home Products To Tackle Air Pollution From Stubble Burning In Delhi-NCR

On October 23, the apex court had said that people in the country can burst firecrackers only from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali and other festivals, and had allowed the manufacture and sale of just “green crackers” which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals. It had said that the issue of pollution through stubble burning would be dealt separately. The court had carved out an exception for Christmas and the New Year eve, saying that crackers for these occasions would be burst between 11.55 pm and 12.30 am, since these celebrations start at midnight. It had, however, allowed the firecrackers which have already been produced to be sold in other parts of the country for this Diwali and other festivals and occasions including weddings. For Gurupurab festival, the court had later allowed fireworks to be carried out for one hour in the morning between 4 am to 5 am and one hour in the evening between 9 pm to 10 pm.

Also Read: Firecracker Ban Verdict: Supreme Court Refuses Blanket Ban, Allows Eco-Friendly Crackers

The court had also banned the manufacture, sale and use of joined firecrackers (series crackers or ‘laris’) saying that they cause “huge air, noise and solid waste problems”. It had said the noise and smoke emission limits of the crackers will have to be approved by the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO), a body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Also Read: Only Green Crackers For Delhi-NCR This Diwali, Says Supreme Court; Traders Body Asks For Reconsideration

To curb pollution in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), the court had directed the Centre, the Delhi government and state governments of NCR to permit community fire-cracking (for Diwali and other festivals), wherever it could be done. It had said that as directed earlier, the fire crackers generating noise level exceeding 125 dB(AI) of 145dB(C) at four metres distance from the point of bursting shall be banned. The court had said that those crackers which have already been produced and do not fulfill the permissible conditions “will not be allowed to be sold in Delhi and NCR”.

Also Read: ‘It Takes Just A Matchstick’: Punjab Farmers Take The Cheaper Way Out To Deal With Paddy Stubble

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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