NCR Current Affairs - 2019
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Stubble burning in states such as Haryana and Punjab is a major cause of air pollution in north India in October and November. The stubble burning is one of the main reasons for the higher level of pollutants in the air in the National Capital Region. The Central government has initiated following steps to reduce and eradicate the stubble burning in the neighbouring states of NCR:
- In the budget of the 2018-19, the central government had announced a special scheme’ to encourage farmers in these states to shift to alternative ways of dealing with agricultural waste.
- In pursuance of the announcement in the budget, the government announced a central sector scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi’.
- The scheme provides for in-situ crop residue management machinery to the farmers on subsidy, the establishment of Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) of in-situ crop residue management machinery and undertaking Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities for creating awareness among farmers to avoid stubble burning.
- The Union Ministry of Power has brought out a policy for biomass utilization for power generation through co-firing in pulverized coal-fired boilers. The Ministry of Power has decided that the States of Haryana and Punjab shall issue bids for all coal based Thermal Power Plants to use a minimum of 5 per cent of biomass pellets and up to 10 per cent to be co-fired with coal.
- The government is also taking steps to popularize zero tillage farming where the crop seed will be sown through drillers without prior land preparation and disturbing the soil where previous crop stubbles are present.
These measures have made a positive impact. The satellite data indicates that paddy residue burning events in 2018 have reduced by 29.5 per cent, 24.5 per cent and 11.0 per cent in the States of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, respectively when compared with the paddy residue burning events in the year 2017.
Supreme Court has accepted Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) proposal to use hologram-based coloured stickers on vehicles, plying in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) to indicate the nature of the fuel used. The apex court has asked government to implement use of coloured stickers on vehicles plying in Delhi-NCR by September 30, 2018. It also clarified that this colour-coding will only be applicable in Delhi and NCR.
With this approval, Delhi will be first city in India to have hologram-based coloured stickers on according to fuel they run on. This move aims to counter air pollution in national capital. Under this colour scheme proposed by MoRTH, light-blue colour will be used for vehicles running petrol and CNG-run vehicles while orange colour sticker will be used for diesel-driven vehicles. These hologram-based stickers will also contain registration date of the vehicle. MoRTH is also considering to introduce green number plates for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Introduction of coloured stickers will restrict use of more polluting vehicles in congested or polluted zone temporarily or permanently depending on the pollution level. The colour coding will help authorities identify and restrict vehicles running on high-polluting fuel from congested or polluted zone temporarily or permanently depending on the pollution level