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Air apocalypse is coming: As Delhi chokes, action must on hotspots to curb air pollution

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New Delhi, Nov 05: Delhi has turned into a gas chamber, and not for the first time. Even as Delhi continues to battle a thick smog and hazardous pollution for days, stubble burning continues unabated in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

29 farmers fined in UP's Muzaffarnagar:

29 farmers fined in UP's Muzaffarnagar:

Authorities in neighbouring Shamli district have imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 each on 29 farmers for allegedly burning crop residue in their fields, officials said on Tuesday.

Additional District Magistrate Arvind Singh told newspersons that the district authorities had cautioned farmers against stubble burning, which is a cause of pollution.

SC asks Punjab, Haryana, U.P. to end stubble burning immediately:

SC asks Punjab, Haryana, U.P. to end stubble burning immediately:

In a bid to save Delhi from the choking air pollution, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to immediately stop their farmers from stubble burning and warned that their entire administrative and police hierarchy, from the Chief Secretary to the sarpanch to the local policeman, will be held responsible even if one instance of stubble burning occurs in the future.

MS Swaminathan's solution:

MS Swaminathan's solution:

Eminent agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan says blaming the farmers would offer no solution. Instead, set up rice bio parks, says Swaminathan, which could generate employment and cattle feed

Why do farmers burn stubble?

Why do farmers burn stubble?

Farmers in Punjab and Haryana usually burn the residue after harvesting paddy in the autumn to clear the fields of the summer harvest and make way for the sowing of wheat, despite there being a ban on burning agricultural residue.

Farmers prefer stubble burning as it is cheaper. Farmers prefer to burn stubble and pay penalty rather than weed out the stubbles. And the reason for this is that the cost of stubble burning is cheaper as penalty works out to be around Rs 2,500 per acre.

 Action must on hotspots

Action must on hotspots

The Environment Protection (Prevention and Control) Authority [EPCA] while directing implementation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for daily emergency action from October 15, 2019 onwards, has also sought local action plans for targeted pollution hotspots - 14 in Delhi and five in NCR. Hotspot action is also included in the winter plan of the Delhi government this year.

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