Work with sincerity on issue of stubble burning: Centre to States

‘Rs. 500-600 crore already provided for the purpose’

The Centre on Thursday appealed to neighbouring States like Haryana and Punjab to work with full sincerity and responsibility in persuading farmers not to burn paddy stubble in order to check pollution.

Union Environment and Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said that the Centre is monitoring the matter at all levels.

“I am appealing and praying and hopeful that States will definitely work with more sincerity and responsibility as compared to earlier years (on the issue),” he told reporters here.

Stubble burning has been a major concern in northern India. It led to severe air pollution in National Capital Region in the past few years, prompting the authorities to take measures to tackle the problem.

The ministry, he said, has held meetings with Ministers and officers of the States on the issue and asked them to distribute farm equipments to farmers by October 15.

The Centre has already provided Rs. 500-600 crore for the purpose, he said, adding that it was urged to the States to deal with the matter with full seriousness.

He also said that going by the data till October 9, stubble burning incidents are low so far as compared to 2016 and 2017.

‘Increase awareness’

“This is an issue where we need to increase awareness and social movement. Government needs to be very vigilant,” the Minister said , adding the Centre is in touch with the neighbouring States.

“If Delhi is in problem (because of this), then our international image also gets impacted,” Mr. Vardhan noted.

“The message is very loud and clear to farmers and States that if the stubble is burnt in Punjab or Haryana, it is not that Delhi is going to be affected. Those States’ air quality will also deteriorate,” he added.

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