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Environment

India Strives To Cut Stubble Burning To Zero To Curb Pollution

Smoke from the burning crops, together with traffic pollution and a fall in wind speeds, is blamed for the smog that envelopes Delhi, the world’s most polluted capital, every winter

Punjab: Stubble Burning Results In AQI Of 'Poor' Category In Bathinda
But he said efforts so far to increase awareness had reduced the amount of crop burning over the last five years without giving figures.

New Delhi: India is committed to ending crop burning this year, the government said, after agriculture and environment ministry officials met on Thursday to review progress towards preventing the major source of pollution during the winter months. Farmers in the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh typically burn crop waste after harvesting in October to clear their fields before they sow winter crops a few weeks later.

Smoke from the burning crops, together with traffic pollution and a fall in wind speeds, is blamed for the smog that envelopes Delhi, the world’s most polluted capital, every winter.

Also Read: 30 Per Cent Drop In Stubble Burning Incidents In Punjab As Compared To Last Year: Minister

Apart from the impact on air quality, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said stubble burning damages soil health and reduces its fertility, a government statement said.

But he said efforts so far to increase awareness had reduced the amount of crop burning over the last five years without giving figures.

States have been asked to provide crop residue management machinery to farmers before the harvesting season and to monitor the utilisation of bio-decomposers.

The government is also seeking to shift the focus onto using straw from paddy fields for commercial purposes rather than burning it.

Residents of Delhi in recent years have reported spikes in respiratory infections as temperatures dip, forcing authorities to take measures such as closing schools and banning construction activity.

Also Read: Delhi-NCR Pollution: Farmers Cannot Be Blamed, Says National Human Rights Commission

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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