Punjab recorded a 30 per cent drop in stubble burning incidents this season (from September 15 to November 30) as compared to last year, Environment Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said on Wednesday.
The state witnessed 49,907 crop residue burning incidents this season as against 71,304 last year, he said.
Hayer said stubble burning is not the problem of Punjab alone, it is the problem of the entire country.
Despite the Union government rejecting the state government’s proposal to provide financial assistance to farmers for not burning paddy straw, the cases of stubble burning have reduced, the minister said.
Had there been a positive response from the Centre, there would have been a further reduction in stubble burning incidents, he added.
In July, Delhi and Punjab governments had jointly sent a proposal to the Centre and the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) to help them give Rs 2,500 per acre as cash incentive to farmers in Punjab for not burning stubble.
However, the Centre had turned down the proposal in September, according to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
Hayer said about 10 million tonnes of straw was managed through in-situ management (mixing crop residue in fields), which is about 25 per cent more than last year.
Similarly, 1.8 million tonnes of stubble was managed through the ex-situ method (using stubble as fuel), which is over 33 per cent more than last year, he said.
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