NASA report: Haryana sees sharp dip in stubble burning, as Punjab struggles

Chandigarh, Nov 13 : Concrete steps taken by the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana to curb stubble burning are reflected in a recent report released by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that has shown a steep decline in farm fire incidents.

The recent satellite images of stubble burning and arson incidents in northern India issued by NASA clearly show that in the last couple of days, farm fire incidents in Haryana have come down even further, while the live images of stubble burning can be seen in three-fourths of the area of neighbouring state Punjab.

The official data released by NASA certainly indicates that cases of stubble burning have decreased in Haryana, while the incidents of stubble burning are continuously increasing in Punjab.

Divulging more details, an official spokesperson said as per the data released for the last 24 hours, very few incidents of stubble burning have been reported in Haryana. This clearly highlights the fact that the Haryana government’s stubble management programme has been a success.

The state government’s data also shows that the incidents of stubble burning in Haryana have come down by 25 per cent this year while in Punjab these incidents have increased by 20 per cent, said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson said not only has the state government launched an awareness campaign for the farmers to make them aware of the ill-effects of stubble burning, but a provision of giving Rs 1,000 per acre incentive has been made for not burning the stubble and for its proper management.

Besides, a Rs 50 per quintal incentive and subsidy on straw management equipment is also given to the farmers for making stubble bales.

Farmers are being given a 50 per cent subsidy on equipment for crop residue management and an 80 per cent subsidy on custom hiring centres.

The spokesperson said if any farmer takes the stubble bales to the ethanol plants set up at Karnal and Panipat, he is given an incentive of Rs 2,000 per acre.

Furthermore, if he brings the stubble to ‘gaushalas’, then an incentive of Rs 1,500 is given to him. Not only this, the government also gives up to Rs 10 lakh to the panchayat for not burning stubble in the red zone area. Last year, the government made a provision of Rs 216 crore for stubble management.

The spokesperson said the government has given more than 72,000 machines to the farmers for crop residue management. The government has set a target of taking this to 80,000 this year so that farmers can manage maximum crop residues at the ground level.

Besides, in Haryana itself 24 types of industries have given consent to the government to buy stubble, under which command areas will be opened in every district and stubble will be procured through those command area centres.

The spokesperson said Haryana has also created a new portal for this, on which the information of the contractors and industries who buy stubble will be available and the farmers who want to sell the stubble can contact them directly through the portal.

Last year, about 1.75 lakh tonnes of stubble was procured by the biogas plant in Haryana.

In this sequence, it has also been planned that HAREDA will set up a biomass power plant to use the stubble to generate electricity in Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Fatehabad and Jind.

Apart from this, plans for about 49.08 MW capacity have been approved by the government, and work is in progress on these projects in Kaithal and Kurukshetra, added the spokesperson. (IANS)

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