Stubble burning: Under-utilisation of CRM machines a concern

Delayed delivery of Crop Residue Management (CRM) machines in Punjab and Haryana came up as a major concern in the inter-ministerial meeting held on the issue of of crop residue burning.

Amid the poor air quality situation in Delhi and surrounding cities, the meeting under the co-chairmanship of the Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Environment and the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry was held in the national capital.

Discussions were held regarding the status of implementation of the respective action plans of the NCR states and NCTD, utilisation of machinery for management, extensive use of bio-decomposers for in-situ management of paddy straw and other related issues.

The Minister of Agriculture in his brief presentation highlighted that the status of Parali management in Haryana is significantly better than that in Punjab.

Nine out of 22 districts in Punjab and 4 out of 22 districts in Haryana are major contributors of stubble burning in these states and these 13 districts need to be focused upon more.

Till October 15, the trend for fire events was less as compared to last year but now it has started growing rapidly, especially in Punjab.

Early harvesting is the reason for high fire counts in Amritsar and Tarn Taran. It was also apprised that the coverage of land for the application of Pusa decomposer is less in Punjab which needs to be promoted and enhanced.

The representative of the Ministry of Power said it has mandated 5 per cent blending of biomass pellets with the coal for co-firing in Thermal Power Plants (TPPs). The co-firing also helps to prevent CO2 emissions. Till now, 0.1 million MT CO2 emissions have been prevented.

The Chairman of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) said they have prepared a detailed framework for management of ‘parali’ and the states have been advised to implement the same to contain stubble burning.

It was mentioned in the meeting that in spite of several meetings and efforts by CAQM, the steps taken by Punjab are inadequate.

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