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Commission for Air Quality Management Provides Guidelines for Burning of Crop Residues

According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), the estimated average contribution of biomass burning to PM2.5 levels in Delhi in 2020 (10 October - 03 December) and 2021 (10 October - 23 November) was 13 percent, with the maximum estimated contribution reaching 42 percent in 2020 and 48 percent in 2021.

Shivam Dwivedi
Stubble Burning
Stubble Burning

The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas, on 10.06.2021 has provided a framework to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, along with the NCT of Delhi, for control/elimination of crop residue burning and directed to draw up the state specific action plans based on the major contours of the framework.

On September 16, 2021, the commission directed the Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, as well as the National Capital Territory of Delhi, to effectively implement the framework and detailed action plan.

Furthermore, the government is implementing a special scheme called "Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and the NCT of Delhi" to support the efforts of the governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and the NCT of Delhi to prevent crop residue burning and subsidize machinery needed for in-situ management of crop residue.

According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), the estimated average contribution of biomass burning to PM2.5 levels in Delhi in 2020 (10 October - 03 December) and 2021 (10 October - 23 November) was 13 percent, with the maximum estimated contribution reaching 42 percent in 2020 and 48 percent in 2021.

According to the Consortium for Research on Agroecosystem Monitoring and Modeling from Space (CREAMS), IARI, the number of active fire events (AFE) due to paddy crop residue burning will decrease by 14 percent in Punjab in 2021, while increasing by 66.3 percent in Haryana, as compared to the number of AFE counted in 2020.

Though, in comparison to 2020, the number of Net AFEs in Punjab and Haryana has decreased by 10% in 2021. District-wise AFE count for the States of Punjab and Haryana for 2020 and 2021 is enclosed as Annexure-I.

In most parts of the country, paddy straw is used as a traditional animal feed. It can, however, be better utilized by treating it with urea solution to make it nutritional feed material. Paddy straw is also used in the production of paper.

The paper industry, on the other hand, dislikes it because of the high silica content, which causes blast furnace clogging, low fibre strength, low pulp yield, yellowness in pulp, and the need for a lot of storage space, among other things.

ICAR formed a committee to assess various ex-situ crop residue management options for technical feasibility and economic viability, and the result was the publication of a document titled 'Ex-situ Crop Residue Management Options.' This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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