Battle Against Pollution: Govt Approves Project To Tackle Stubble Burning In North India
With the Delhi-National capital region and other northern states facing severe pollution, the environment ministry on December 28 approved a regional project to tackle stubble burning, one of the major contributors to air pollution. Awareness generation and capacity-building activities for farmers to adopt alternative practices and a slew of technological interventions for management of crop residue along with existing machineries will be part of the project.
The ministry approved a regional project on Climate Resilience Building among Farmers through Crop Residue Management under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC). The project was approved at the meeting of the National Steering Committee on Climate Change chaired by Environment Secretary CK Mishra.
The first phase of the project has been approved at a cost of approximately Rs 100 crore for Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
"The project will leverage approximately three times the approved amount with contribution from the states as well as farmers," an official statement said.
The project aims to not only mitigate climate change impacts and enhance adaptive capacity but also counter the adverse environmental impacts that arise from burning.
The project will be implemented in a phased approach. Initially, awareness generation and capacity- building activities will be undertaken to encourage farmers to adopt alternative practices to help them diversify livelihood options and enhance their income. A slew of technological interventions will also be undertaken for timely management of crop residue, in addition to effective utilisation of existing machineries. Through the project, the ministry will also create implementable and sustainable entrepreneurship models in rural areas through upscaling successful initiatives and innovative ideas.
"Based upon the performance in the first phase, the scope could be enhanced and more activities can be supported subsequently," Mishra said.
Projects from Nagaland, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh were also approved in the meeting.
Despite limited budgetary provision, the NAFCC has so far approved 27 innovative projects, covering vulnerable sectors such as agriculture, animal husbandry, water, forestry among others, since its launch in 2015.
The problem of crop residue burning has been intensifying over the years, with Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh being the major burning hotspots. Increased mechanisation, declining number of livestock, long period required for composting and no economically viable alternative use of residues are some of the reasons for residues being burnt in field.
With inputs from Housing News