National Green Tribunal Ask States to Stop Crop Burning

A day after dense smog engulfed the National Capital Region the National Green Tribunal has asked Delhi and four northern states to issue stringent notifications to paddy farmers to stop burning crops.

Uncontrolled burning of paddy stubbles recently by Punjab farmers has badly affected the weather in the Capital. Burning of paddy stubble not only reduces visibility but also leads to breathing problems.

Union Environment Ministry has asked Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan to launch an intensive drive to monitor crop residue burning and take action against the violators.

Environment Ministry has written letters to Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and urged them to launch an intensive monitoring including through satellite based remote sensing technology to monitor crop residue management.

The letters have requested compliance to the advisory issued for curbing open burning of crops residue and biomass in fields and to the National Policy for Management of Crop Residue 2014 which emphasised on adoption of technical measures including diversified use of crop residue, capacity building and training.

Delhi government has made a decision to take up the issue of crop burning and its detrimental effects on the air quality of the National Capital, which has remained “poor” over the last few days, with the governments of Punjab and Haryana.

Doctors in the city have witnessed a spike in the numbers of cases of respiratory illness by 20 per cent. Cases of viral infection, cough, sneezing, respiratory tract infection and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have gone up.

The weather experts say that the current situation of haze brought on by smog is likely to persist for a few more days.

The average levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10, which can penetrate deep into the lungs, were 157 and 264 microgram per cubic metre respectively, much more than the safe limits.