Sunday, December 15, 2019
Follow us on
BREAKING NEWS
नेपालः 40 यात्रियों को लेकर जा रही बस दुर्घटनाग्रस्त, 12 की मौतपंजाबः लुधियाना के डीएसपी ने राज्यमंत्री पर लगाया धमकी देने का आरोपदिल्लीः खत्म हुई स्वाति मालीवाल की भूख हड़ताल, डॉक्टरों ने लगाई ड्रिपसरदार पटेल की 69वीं पुण्यतिथि आज, हरियाणा के उपमुख्यमंत्री दुष्यन्त चौटाला ने दी श्रद्धांजलिरणदीप सुरजेवाला ने ट्वीट करके भाजपा-जजपा सरकार पर निशाना साधाआज से फास्टैग सिस्टम लागू, नहीं लगाने पर देना होगा दोगुना टोलजम्मू-कश्मीर और हिमाचल में बर्फबारी, मैदानी इलाकों में बढ़ी ठिठुरनलंदन में भारतीय दूतावास के सामने नागरिकता संशोधन कानून को लेकर विरोध प्रदर्शन
Editorial

TOI EDIT-Gas Chamber Politics

November 04, 2019 05:28 AM

COURTESY THE TIMES OF INDIA EDIT
25% rise in stubble burning in Punjab exposes many defects in the policy response
By 2021 a whopping 64 million people are projected to reside in Delhi and the national capital region spanning 23 districts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan – making it among the world’s most populous urban agglomerations. So the public health emergency declared in NCR, an annual post-Diwali ritual in recent years, signalling grave risk to so many lives, should have elicted a proportionate and coordinated policy response. Instead it energises divisive political responses: like Arvind Kejriwal’s claims of Punjab, Haryana governments forcing farmers to burn stubble and Prakash Javadekar’s jibe that money spent on Kejriwal government ads could have subsidised farm alternatives.

Millions more have been affected with the bad air fanning out slowly across all of UP and extending as far east as Patna. By now agencies agree that farm fires are the primary culprit of the pollution spike. What we face is a seasonal problem caused by a specific set of factors: stubble burning and festival cracker bursting aggravated by slow wind movement at the onset of winter. Actually for much of this year NCR has enjoyed better air quality which brings the current spike into sharp focus. Satellite imagery of fires and the dip in air quality measurements offer a strong correlation for corrective steps.


The strategy of penalising farmers isn’t working. But Punjab’s great strides in mechanising agriculture indicate that the same farmers can indeed be persuaded to shun primitive burning for machines like super straw management systems and happy seeders. No one wants farmers to junk combine harvesters and return to manual modes. Instead governments must do a better job of subsidising these machines, offering various lease-rent-purchase options, and overhauling environmentally disastrous farm policies promoting paddy cultivation in water-stressed areas. Centre, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi governments must set aside petty quarrels and work together.

 

 
Have something to say? Post your comment