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NGT calls for action plan on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken a significant step towards addressing the persistent issue of stubble burning in Punjab & Haryana

By Ground Report
New Update
NGT calls for action plan on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken a significant step towards addressing the persistent issue of stubble burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana. On November 29, 2023, the NGT ordered both states to prepare a detailed action plan to tackle the problem of crop residue burning, which is a major contributor to air pollution in the region.

The tribunal has directed the states to outline the measures they will implement from January 1 to September 1, 2024, to prevent the occurrence of stubble burning incidents. The action plan is expected to include a step-by-step approach and identify the officers responsible for its execution.

Punjab’s counsel has assured the NGT that the state will prepare and submit the action plan within six weeks. The next hearing on this matter is scheduled for January 19, 2024.

Stubble burning is a critical concern, particularly between September 15 and November 30, when farmers set fire to crop residue to prepare fields for the next planting season. According to a report by the Air Quality Management Commission, Punjab witnessed 36,632 incidents of stubble burning during this period in 2023, while Haryana reported 2,285 incidents.

Fatehabad in Haryana and Sangrur in Punjab were identified as the districts with the highest number of stubble burning incidents, with 476 and 5,352 cases, respectively.

Acknowledging the severity of the annual problem of residue burning, the NGT underscored the need for a comprehensive plan and immediate remedial action for the year 2024. The tribunal's directive requires Punjab and Haryana to prepare a time-bound action plan with specific phases, outlining proposed measures from January 1 to September 1, 2024. This plan must include preventive steps for the upcoming year and clearly identify the authorities responsible for its implementation.

The NGT's proactive stance aims to prevent a recurrence of the stubble burning crisis in 2024 and signals a commitment to environmental conservation. As the states work towards developing and presenting their action plans, the public awaits concrete steps to address this pressing issue and ensure a sustainable future.

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