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Punjab Gets Most of the Central Fund, But Farm Fires Soar | India News


NEW DELHI: Punjab received 46% of the central fund of Rs 1727 crore to curb stubble burning in the past three years, but saw a 15% increase in agricultural fire incidents over 2017 figures, while Haryana and Uttar Pradesh significantly reduced incidents of burning crop residues over the same period, the Center reported to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, through Attorney General Tushar Mehta and Additional Attorney General Aishwarya Bhati, provided details in an affidavit on the measures taken by the newly created Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Contiguous Areas.
He said comments have been solicited from Punjab’s chief secretary on making crop residue management (CRM) machines available at farmers’ doorsteps, as well as popularizing the use of Pusa biodecomposer technology in conjunction with CRM machines for on-site stubble management.
The MoEF said that after an increase in incidents of stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in 2017, the Center decided to fund a program for the promotion of agricultural mechanization and on-site management of crop residues for three years. from 2018-19. The Center allocated Rs 1,727 crore, of which Punjab got Rs 793 crore, Haryana Rs 500 crore, UP Rs 374 crore, Delhi Rs 4.5 crore, Indian Council of Agricultural Research and other central agencies Rs 55 crore.
Although Punjab received the largest share, the number of agricultural fires increased 15% in 2020-21 compared to 67,079 incidents of stubble burning in 2017-18. MoEF said that both Haryana and UP saw a significant reduction in stubble burning incidents over the years.
The Commission has also advocated for coordination between the “India Space Research Organization, Punjab State Remote Sensing Application Center, its counterpart in Haryana and the National Crop Forecast Center for the identification of agricultural fires in real time for quick response / administrative action. ”
On Delhi’s air quality management and the reduction of pollution caused by heavy duty vehicles, the Commission has directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) not to allow any commercial vehicle without RFID tag to enter Delhi in 13 toll plazas where the RFID system and infrastructure have been installed since then. January 1st.
The MoEF said that the Commission, together with other stakeholders such as the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), conducted a comprehensive review of the potential use of the monitoring and mapping system. locally developed “photonics” based air quality monitor called Unique Air Quality Monitoring (AUM) for a pilot test in Delhi. “CPCB and DPCC have been asked to fund this pilot project,” he said.
The Commission asked all thermal power plants in the areas under its jurisdiction to adhere to the deadlines for the installation of the Outgoing Gas Desulfurization (FGD) system, it said.

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