Stubble Burning: Where Is The Solution To The Pollution?

by GoNews Desk Nov 18, 2021 • 10:56 AM Views 417

The problem of stubble burning and resultant pollution has been constant in India over the past few years. ‘Stubble burning’ is done after the paddy (rice) crop harvest, and there has been a steady rise in rice farming which consequently leads to more stubble burning and air pollution.

What is of concern is that despite being a health risk, farmers have no other method than to burn the remaining stubs of the crops after the harvest is completed.

Stubble burning is rising every year and the governments at the state or Central level have no concrete ways of dealing with it, either by making the stubble economically viable or otherwise. The government has constantly been criticized on grounds that the stubble could have been used as industrial raw material as it is in countries, but it has failed to find a solution to make this happen.

In the past 15 days alone, there have been more than 60,000 cases of stubble burning from Punjab itself at the time of writing this report, a number which may well increase even further. Punjab sets a new record of stubble-burning cases every year.

If we look at this same time period in different years, we will find that in 2020, there were 74,000 such cases, 51,000 cases of stubble burning in 2019, 47,000 in 2018, and 43,000 in 2017 in the time period until 15th November.

Now, if we look at rice production, we see that in 2020-21 there were 12,176 tonnes of rice produced, and in 2019, it was 11,780 tonnes.

The state of Punjab is producing 38% more rice today as compared to 2001. Rice farming has grown from 2.6 million hectares in 2001 to 3.6 million hectares in 2021. This means that the growth of paddy farming is leading to increase instances and intensity of stubble burning over the years.

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