To curb air pollution in the national capital during winter due to stubble burning, the Centre on Wednesday directed Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi governments to chalk out a comprehensive micro-level plan and promote the use of bio-decomposer.
In a review meeting with the state government officials and officials of agri-research body ICAR, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar pointed out that the states have not fully spent the Rs 600 crore given to them for this fiscal.
” Rs 600 crore was already provided to the states this financial year and they have the unspent amount of Rs 300 Crore, which should be utilized properly,” an official statement quoted Mr Tomar as having said in the meeting.
The Centre and concerned states should jointly evolve a long-term plan and must undertake multi-pronged activities to achieve the target of zero stubble burning within a specified time frame, he said.
The minister reviewed the actions taken so far to check stubble burning and discussed proposed actions to be taken by the neighbouring states.
For effective control of paddy stubble burning during the ensuing season, Tomar said the states should chalk out a comprehensive action plan at the micro level.
The states have been asked to establish a mechanism to ensure effective utilisation of machines, promote the use of bio-decomposer in a complementary mode with CRM machines, and promote ex-situ utilisation of straw by way of mapping demand from industries like biomass-based power plants, bio-ethanol plants, etc, the statement said.
The states have also been asked to run an intensive campaign to create mass awareness among farmers through media, social media, kisaan melas, seminars, and advisories.
“If all the actions are taken at the state level in a holistic manner, the stubble burning can be effectively controlled during the coming season,” the minister said.
Mr Tomar said the states should strive for achieving zero stubble burning in the very near future and promised all central government help to achieve this mission.
He urged the officials to make arrangements to take the farmers to the sites where the Pusa Decomposer developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is being used for practical demonstrations.
The Centre has already released Rs 240 crore, Rs 191.53 crore, Rs 154.29 crore, and Rs 14.18 crore to Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and ICAR, respectively, as the first installment under a central scheme to promote agricultural machination for in-situ management of crop residue.
During the current year, provisions have also been incorporated to promote the use of bio-decomposer technology on large scale in these states.
Last year, decomposer was used in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and NCT of Delhi in around 5.7 lakh hectares area which is equivalent to about 3.5 million tonnes of straw managed.
Through satellite imaging and monitoring, it was observed that 92 per cent area of the decomposer sprayed plots have been managed through decomposition and only 8 per cent area in these plots was burned, the statement added.
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