Topic: GS3 – environmental pollution.
- The Punjab government has pledged to decrease paddy stubble burning incidents by at least 50% compared to the previous year.
- Stubble burning is a significant issue in northern states during October-November, contributing to air pollution in Delhi and nearby regions.
Issues with Stubble Burning in Northern India:
- Air Pollution: Stubble burning releases pollutants and particulate matter into the air, leading to poor air quality. Smoke from burning fields contributes to severe pollution.
- Health Impacts: The smoke and pollutants can harm respiratory health, exacerbate asthma, and increase the risk of heart conditions, posing health risks to residents.
- Visibility and Road Safety: Thick smoke reduces visibility on roads, increasing the risk of accidents for drivers and pedestrians.
- ontribution to Smog: Stubble burning contributes to winter smog, disrupting daily life, outdoor activities, and even causing flight delays.
- Environmental Damage: It depletes soil nutrients, contributes to soil degradation, and reduces biodiversity in affected areas.
- Economic Impact: Stubble burning leads to soil fertility loss, reducing crop yields and increasing input costs, affecting farmers economically.
- Promotion of Mechanized Farming: Encourage farmers to adopt modern machinery for crop residue management, such as straw balers and shredders, which can help incorporate stubble into the soil without burning.
- Crop Diversification: Promote crop diversification by incentivizing the cultivation of crops that do not generate as much crop residue, reducing the need for stubble burning.
- Financial Incentives: Provide financial incentives to farmers who adopt sustainable practices and refrain from stubble burning.
- Subsidized Farm Machinery: Offer subsidies or loans for the purchase of farm machinery that can manage crop residue effectively, making it more accessible to small and marginal farmers.
- Biomass Energy: Encourage the use of crop residue for biomass energy production, creating an additional source of income for farmers and reducing the need for burning.
- Awareness Campaigns: Conduct awareness campaigns to educate farmers about the harmful effects of stubble burning and the benefits of alternative practices.