Stubble Burning Created Havoc in Delhi (Download PDF)

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People in Delhi NCR are facing one of the worst ever spells of air pollutions since the end of Diwali 2019. The burning of stubble in Punjab and Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh cause a lot of air pollution in Northern India and mostly in Delhi NCR. Some of the factors causing air pollution include Urbanization, increase in vehicles, poor public transport system, poor land use pattern, industrialization, mining, construction, power plants etc.

Stubble Burning Created Havoc in Delhi


  • Stubble burning is an act of removing paddy crop residues from the field to sow wheat.
  • it՚s usually required in areas that use the combined harvesting method. This leaves crop Residue behind.
  • Combines are machines that harvest; thresh thereby separating the grains and cleaning the separated grain at the same time.
  • The machine doesn՚t cut close enough to the ground, living stubble behind that the farmer has no use for it.
  • To sow the next crop in time for it to achieve full yield the cheaper and quickest solutions is to clear the field by burning the stubble.

Solutions to Stubble Burning

  • Turbo Happy Seeder (THS) is the most efficient technology to counter crop burning. The Turbo Happy Seeder is basically machine mounted on a tractor that not only cuts and uproots the stubble but can also drill wheat seeds on the soil that has just been cleared up.
  • The straw is simultaneously thrown over the sown seed to form a mulch cover.
  • The THS can also be fitted with Super Straw Management System (S-SMS) that spreads the straw evenly.
  • Happy Seeder Machines (HSM) and Super Straw Management System S-SMS are possible Technological solution to counter stubble burning.
  • These Technologies are very costly (₹ 1 lakh above) particularly for the farmers.
  • The states of Punjab and Haryana are yet to share and implement the community access for both these Technologies.
  • In the regions of Punjab and Haryana the paddy is grown as a kharif crop.
  • Farmers in Northern India cannot wait until remove through natural cause so they move to quickest manner in removing stubble burning.
  • Problem of Residue in the field arises only when the crop is harvested through combine harvesting method if the harvesting is done through manually the problem of Residue does not come.

Measures to Tackle Air Pollution

  • Imposing a blanket ban on firecrackers.
  • Ban on vehicles which exceed prescribed emission standards.
  • Provide separate bus lanes to reduce congestion.
  • Create a separate fund in budget to deal with these crises.
  • Provide agricultural subsidies to farmers to disincentives crop burning.
  • Improve the drainage system.
  • To reduced air pollution in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) need to take measures including ban on construction and demolition activities and burning of garbage. Supreme Court imposed a violation of the rules would cost ₹ 1 lakh in fine.

The National Clean Air Program

The National Clean Air Program
  • The National Clean Air Program is a pollution control initiative launched by the Ministry of environment forest and climate change with the intention to cut the concentration of coarse particulate (PM10) and fine particulate (PM 2.5) by 20 - 30 % by 2024.
  • It is a 5 year Action Plan (Starting 2019) with an aim to provide the states and the centre a framework to combat air pollution in a collaborative and coordinating manner among central ministers, state government, local bodies and nongovernmental organizations.
  • This plan has been aligned along with the existing policies and programs that include National Action Plan on climate change, initiatives on electric vehicles and the Smart Cities Mission.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 22, 2019

Environment/Ecology, Agriculture/Agro Industries

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