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Govt efforts reduced air pollution in NCR: Haryana Chief Secretary

He says farm fires are down by 38 per cent.

Govt efforts reduced air pollution in NCR: Haryana Chief Secretary

The Delhi government said that it has been consistently working on reducing pollution, and even the central government has acknowledged reduction in pollution. (Representational image /File)

Haryana Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal on Wednesday said that even as 90 per cent of paddy harvesting in the state has been completed, the state has seen a 38 per cent reduction in stubble burning incidents in 2023 as compared to the previous year, with a substantial 57 per cent reduction observed in the last two years.
During a virtual meeting convened by the Union Cabinet Secretary today, Kaushal said the government’s relentless efforts to curtail stubble burning and proactively minimize fire incidents have reduced air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR).
He said Haryana cultivates 36.5 lakh acres of paddy, comprising 18.36 lakh acres of Basmati cultivation and approximately 18.2 lakh acres of non-Basmati cultivation.

Kaushal said the steps have been taken by the state government such as issuing instructions to hold Deputy Commissioners and Station House Officers liable for not controlling these fires.
The government has also taken strict actions against individuals responsible for farm fires, issuing 1256 challans with fines totaling over Rs 32.55 lakh and filing 72 FIRs related to farm fires, resulting in the apprehension of 44 offenders.

Kaushal said the state government has imposed restrictions on BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel LMVs (4 Wheelers) in the Gurugram and Faridabad districts with immediate effect until 30 November or until the revocation of GRAP Stage III by the Commission on Air Quality Management, whichever occurs earlier (excluding vehicles deployed in Emergency Services, Police vehicles, and Government vehicles used for Enforcement).
Violators found using BS-III Petrol and BS-IV Diesel LMVs (4 Wheelers) in these districts will face prosecution under Section 194(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, he said.

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Regarding the fixation of hologram-based color stickers on vehicles registered in NCR districts, the Chief Secretary said about 10 lakh vehicles have been color-coded in NCR districts between November 14, 2018, and January 31, 2023.

He said the state government’s commitment to eliminating unsustainable practices like paddy straw stubble burning, emphasising support for farmers through a subsidy of 600 crore for adopting various stubble management practices.

Kaushal said that Haryana’s comprehensive strategy includes both in-situ and ex-situ management, with a focus on categorizing villages into Red, Yellow, and Green zones based on active fire incidents.
He said that 19,141 lakh machines have already been sanctioned to the farming community. An area of 940 lakh acres has been registered for incentives of Rs 1000 per acre.
The state government has notified the ‘Haryana Ex-situ Management of Paddy Straw – 2023’ scheme to ensure the assured and adequate supply of paddy straw to biomass-based projects, thereby reducing stubble burning and promoting environmentally conscious agriculture.

The projected industrial utilisation of 13.54 lakh metric tonne of paddy straw for the current year further underscores the state government’s efforts in this direction.

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