New Delhi: Seeking to address the issue of in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, the environment ministry has approved launching of a regional project to tackle the menace that adversely affects air quality and soil health.
The project will be implemented in a phased manner under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change ().
The first phase of the project, costing approximately Rs 100 crore, was approved on Thursday for Punjab, Haryana, and .
Initially, awareness generation and capacity building activities will be undertaken to encourage farmers to adopt alternate practices which would also help diversify livelihood options and enhance farmers‘ income.
“Based upon the performance in the first phase, the scope could be enhanced and more activities can be supported subsequently”, said Union environment secretary who chaired the meeting of the National Steering Committee on Climate Change that approved the project.
“The project not only aims to mitigate climate change impacts and enhance adaptive capacity, but will also counter the adverse environmental impacts that arise from (stubble) burning”, said the environment ministry in a statement.
It said, “A slew of technological interventions will be undertaken for timely management of crop residue in addition to effective utilisation of existing machineries. Implementable and sustainable entrepreneurship models will be created in rural areas through upscaling successful initiatives and innovative ideas.”
The problem of crop residue burning has been intensifying over the years with Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh being the major stubble burning hotspots. These activities affects air quality in Delhi and national capital region () every post-harvest season.
Increased mechanisation, declining number of livestock and absence of economically viable alternative to use crop residue are some of the reasons why farmers resort to stubble burning.
An official said that the regional project to deal with the issue of stubble burning under the NAFCC would be in addition to what the high-level central task force has planned as part of its 12-point action agenda for abatement of air pollution in Delhi and NCR.
Pitching for coordinated action to combat stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and UP, the task force has already asked secretaries of agriculture and rural development to implement the agreed plan for managing crop stubble.
It also asked the ministry to collaborate with the department of science & technology to ensure that independent data on stubble burning is available in real time for timely action.
Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with . Download The for your device.