NGT bans age-old agricultural practice of straw burning in Northern States

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned age-old agricultural practice of straw burning in pollution-ravaged New Delhi and 4 northern western states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Ruling in this regard was given by NGT Bench headed by Chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar by keeping in view the serious issue of burning of agriculture waste (straw) which contributes towards global warming and the environmental pollution.

NGT has directed

  • Respective governments of Delhi and four northern to keep check the bi-annual menace of straw burning.
  • Imposition of 2,500 to 15,000 rupees fine on farmers indulged in straw burning.
  • District magistrates should form a committee to carry out awareness programmes for farmers and villagers in order to educate them about the ill-effects of straw burning.

It has clearly mentioned that if the directions of NGT in this regard are not complied with, the Chief Secretaries concerned states would be held liable.

Straw Burning Menace

  • Straw Burning is age-old agricultural practice followed by farmers biannually by setting fire to their fields to clear the land of residue (Straw) of one harvest and sow the next.
  • It is mainly carried in Northern western states in the month of November to save time under the rice-wheat crop rotation and to make the land more fertile and kill pests.

Effects

  • The menace of straw burning is making the atmosphere in national capital Delhi more blinding and suffocating as smoke from it moves towards the city.
  • The open field burning emits Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Carbon monoxide (CO) and Nitrous Oxide (NO) along with particulate matter.

Thus open burning of agriculture remains is considered as a serious issue contributing towards global warming and the environmental pollution. It is also principle cause of haze and air pollution putting life of people and children in danger.

Earlier, Union Government had proposed to provide incentives to farmers and promoting efficient farming practices with subsidies to stop this menace.

The best remedy to stop this menace is to set up bio-ethanol refineries in order to extract sustainable bio-fuel from agricultural residue with the help of private-public-partnership (PPP) and private model.

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Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2017

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