MPs Say Stubble Burning Not the Main Cause of Pollution, Effective Measures Needed

Long-standing attack on the farmers of Punjab and Haryana for stubble burning as the primary cause for amplifying air-pollution levels in Delhi has been softened. In the winter session of the parliament, the MPs presented data showing how stubble-burning contributed to only a small percentage of the increase.

Crux of the Matter
  • Manish Tewari of Congress read in the Parliament that Vehicular Emission contributed to 41%, Industrial Emission to 18%, and Stubble Burning to a very small percentage, of the air pollution in Delhi.
  • He also insisted upon developing a plan to buy the stubble from small farmers to prevent them from burning it.
  • BJP MP Pravesh Verma noted that the sky-rocketing budget of Rs. 600 crore of the Delhi government for advertisement, and Rs. 70 crore for advertisements in the odd-even scheme, could be used in avenues of road building or buying stubble from the poor farmers.
  • System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) report shows that Meteorological conditions can escalate the pollution level in Delhi. It also mentioned that stubble-burning is not the leading cause, yet it does need to be curbed, but to make substantial changes, efficient methods need to be deployed.

Stubble burning is intentionally setting fire to the straw stubble that remains after grains, like paddy, wheat, etc., have been harvested. The practice was widespread until the 1990s, when governments. Smoke from this burning produces a cloud of particulates visible from space, and has produced a “toxic cloud” in New Delhi, resulting in declarations of an air-pollution emergency. Read More