If you’re living in North India or we say cities like Delhi to be specific, then you must be aware of the issue of stubble burning, which has now become a headache to the Indian government. The marks that it leaves on the environment in the form of toxic pollutants not only deteriorate the quality of air to a great extent but also puts thousands of lives at risk every year. Apart from causing eye irritation and difficulty in breathing, stubble burning also leads to “impossible to recover” lung diseases. Burning of straw stubble (that is often left as the result of harvesting of grains) happens at such a massive scale that you’d be shocked to know that it accounts for almost 10 percent of the total emission in the world now. Being a significant source of greenhouse gasses, including CO2, NOx, etc, dealing with this highly alarming problem of stubble burning requires urgent steps. Keeping all these in mind, the CII (confederation of Indian Industries) with the support of Indian Oil Corporation has launched the project Vayu Amrit in the Sangrur district of Punjab about which we’re going to give you a brief look with this blog.
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Stubble Burning - A Man-Made Disaster
If you take a brief look at major paddy-growing states such as Punjab & Haryana in Northern India, you’ll find the majority of farmers there burning their paddy straw left after harvesting to move on to their next crops. And, this process over time has now resulted in a catastrophic situation for people living in cities like Delhi. As per the data of CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board), the air quality of Delhi got worse with the “Severe” category for the very first time in the last season. With this, we also witnessed governments of different states blaming one another for the situation or to be particular the governments of Delhi Vs Haryana & Punjab. And, this wasn’t unusual because despite numerous initiatives, both the Haryana and Punjab governments failed to take the situation of stubble burning under control and witnessed thousands of fire stubble cases.
Project Vayu Amrit
One of its kind crop residue management initiatives, the project Vayu Amrit aims to eliminate the practice of burning stubble and control its adverse effects on the environment and human health. Under this project, the government authorities will provide farmers with alternatives including machinery and processes to deal with their crop residue in a more viable and environment-friendly way and keep them away from burning it as much as possible. This includes educating farmers about the negative impacts stubble burning has not only on mother nature but also on the lives of people and how they can avoid it using sustainable ways of managing their straw stubble.
Haryana and Punjab are usually the two states that remain in the news when it comes to stubble burning and this is the reason we see CII keeps its focus primarily on them. In fact, CII’s crop residue management program, which covered around 2 lakh acres of farmland last season, has a target to cover 3 lakh acres of farmland this season. And now, with the partnership of IOC (Indian Oil Corporation) and CII, the Vayu Amrit project has been rolled out in 9 villages of the Sangrur district covering 7000 hectares of agricultural land. In case you're wondering if all these initiatives are giving any actual results, then you'd be delighted to know that the extent of stubble burning has been reduced by 84 percent in the majority of the targeted lands and keeps showing significant achievements.
After understanding the problem of stubble burning, we hope that you’d also contribute a bit toward making farmers near you aware of its gravity and urge them to avoid it at any cost or adopt environment-friendly methods to deal with it.
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