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From Islamabad to Delhi: An Advice to Reduce Air Pollution Caused By Crop Burning

Images by ISRO showed that Pakistan had a near same incidence of farm fires a couple of years ago. But they have managed to reduce it. However, India is still struggling.

News18.com

Updated:November 10, 2017, 2:25 PM IST
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From Islamabad to Delhi: An Advice to Reduce Air Pollution Caused By Crop Burning
A labourer burns paddy waste stubble at a field on the outskirts of Chandigarh. (File photo: Reuters)
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New Delhi: India and Pakistan may disagree about a thousand things but pollution is a common enemy. And Pakistan seems to be getting the strategy to curb crop burning right. As the pollution level has peaked in Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and many others have blamed it on crop burning in Punjab and Haryana. And despite several attempts, the government has failed to incentivize the farmers to stop burning the stubble.

When Kejriwal tweeted, urging Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh to take steps to stop crop residue burning, Pakistan jumped on the bandwagon. Responding to Kejriwal’s tweet, the official handle of Pakistani Punjab government said, “We have imposed a ban on stubble burning in (Pakistan) and hope @capt_amarinder takes similar measures.”

https://twitter.com/GovtOfPunjab/status/928321089889013768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Findiatoday.intoday.in%2Fstory%2Fdelhi-pollution-arvind-kejriwal-captain-amarinder-singh-pakistan-punjab%2F1%2F1086143.html

In an earlier report, News18 pointed out how Pakistan has been able to take better measures than India to control crop burning. This year, according to reports, 2,620 incidents of crop fire were spotted via satellite in Indian Punjab. In Pakistan, the number was limited to just 27.

Images by ISRO showed that Pakistan had a near same incidence of farm fires a couple of years ago. But they have managed to reduce it. However, India is still struggling.

Meanwhile, Punjab province Minister for Environment Zakia Shah Nawaz Khan said that both India and Pakistan need to collaborate to find a sustainable solution to this problem.

“Both countries need to collaborate in order to find a sustainable solution. The only proper forum to do that, at the moment, is through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc),” Zakia Shah Nawaz Khan, environment minister of the Pakistan province of Punjab, wrote in an opinion piece.

“Right now, Pakistan is blaming the India side for polluting its air. Maybe when we sit together, face to face, we can be more realistic,” he wrote.

However, India has dismissed the suggestion. India, instead, said that the SAARC meetings can happen only if “one country” stops providing enabling-environment to terrorism.

“Our stand remains unchanged. For the talks to go ahead there should be a conducive environment which has to be created - an environment has to be created which is free of terrorism and free of terrorists getting support from Pakistan,” MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
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