Stubble Burning Issue: Punjab Government Faces Criticism from the Supreme Court

The Punjab government, led by the AAP, came under fire from the Supreme Court of India for its slack efforts to prohibit stubble burning, which worsened Delhi’s already poor air quality. The court noted that farmers’ concerns are not adequately taken into account and are instead unjustly presented as villains.

The court heard petitions on Tuesday regarding Delhi’s dangerous air quality, which is made worse by people’s habit of burning stubble. The Punjab government’s inability to provide agricultural waste disposal services at no cost was questioned by the court, which recommended that Punjab adopt Haryana’s approach of offering farmers financial incentives.

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“Why isn’t the agricultural residue procedure 100% free according to the Punjab government? The farmer only needs to fire a matchstick to burn it. For farmers, machinery for managing crop waste is not everything. The Supreme Court said, “Even if the machine is given away for free, there is still the cost of diesel, labor, etc. Punjab should think about funding diesel, labor, and using byproducts.”

The court praised Punjab’s initiatives, citing 8,481 gatherings aimed at deterring farmers from setting fire to rice straw. Punjab recorded 634 agricultural fires on Monday in spite of these endeavors; since November 8, 1,084 farmers have been the subject of FIRs and penalties totaling ₹1.87 million have been imposed.

Delhi’s air quality is still getting worse; on Tuesday morning, it had an AQI of 365. There was an increase from 301 on Sunday to 348 on Monday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. ‘Poor’ air quality was also observed in Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Greater Noida, Noida, and Faridabad.

The severe position taken by the Supreme Court highlights the pressing need for concerted action to solve the challenge of air pollution, particularly as it relates to stubble burning.

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