Chandigarh: Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) is going to conduct a remote sensing study through the Haryana Space Application Centre (HARSAC) to ascertain the extent of burning during 2013-15.
This study is also being conducted during the current crop season in October-November, 2015, which would further reveal the extent of reduction in burning area in 10 major paddy-growing districts of the State, a spokesman of HSPCB said here today.
Notably, ignoring warnings by state authorities, growers in Punjab and Haryana continue to burn paddy stubble in their fields, which is leading to engulfing area with smog and posing health-related risks.
The spokesman said that the Haryana Government is making every effort to discourage the practice of burning of leftover straw in open fields and the Environment Department has already prohibited this practice.
He further said that instructions were also issued to all Deputy Commissioners on September 4 to issue statutory warning to all Block Development Officers, Tehsildars and Patwaris to instruct the Sarpanch and Panches in the villages for persuading farmers not to burn leftover straw in open fields during the current Kharif Season.
Giving details of the awareness campaigns being organised by the HSPCB and the Agriculture Department to educate the farmers about the harmful effects of burning leftover straw, the spokesman, said a short documentary film 'Kuch Kehti Hai Purali' which highlights harmful effects of burning, and remedial measures, is being shown to farmers under this campaign.
The HSPCB is also persuading industries, such as paper and cardboard units to use paddy straw as raw material in their process. Some of these units have already started using paddy straw as raw material.
The Agriculture Department has also taken effective measures for controlling the burning by providing subsidy to the tune of over Rs 72.35 crore on environment-friendly agriculture equipment, including Zero Till Machine, Rotavator, Straw Reaper, Reaper Binder, Happy Seeder, Mulcher, Straw Baler etc. During the year 2014-15, he said.
The Department has so far provided 6,120 machines on subsidy to the farmers, covering total area of 62.46 lakh acres up to March, 2014, the spokesman said.
Notably, the paddy residue burning is not only causing air pollution, smog but is also posing serious threat to human lives by way of creating medical problems such as breathing trouble, allergies and asthma attacks.
Stubble burning causes emission of smoke and toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
Besides, the burning also lead to poor soil health by eliminating essential nutrients.