Green farms and clean air

The >massive pollution cloud enveloping northern India every year is a good example of the disconnect between official policy and ground realities. It has been known for long that burning of agricultural waste in the northern States significantly contributes to the poor air quality in large parts of the Indo-Gangetic Basin, with local and cascading impacts felt from Punjab all the way to West Bengal. Harmful fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 mm in diameter (PM2.5) is among the pollutants released. Punjab responded to the issue with a prohibition on the burning of paddy straw, and the launch of initiatives aimed at better utilisation of biomass, including as a fuel to produce power. Yet, there is no mission mode approach to the annual crisis. The efforts do not match the scale of agricultural residues produced, for one, and fail to address farmers’ anxiety to remove the surplus from the fields quickly to make way for the next crop. The national production of crop waste is of the order of 500 million tonnes a year, with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal topping the list. Again, 80 per cent of straw from paddy is burnt in some States, impacting air quality and depriving croplands of nutrients...................Read more


Source: The Hindu

Comments (0)

Please Login or Register to join groups