Centre To Foot Rs 685 Crore Bill To Prevent Burning Of Crop Stubble In Punjab So Delhi Can Breathe FreelyPaddy stubble burning in Punjab (NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)

Following its failure to contain the burning in crop stubble last year during the winters, the Punjab government has got the Centre to release Rs 685 crore towards tackling the problem. The matter was confirmed by the state’s health and family welfare minister Brahm Mohindra who termed it a huge achievement.

Considering the gravity of this issue, Punjab Chief Minister took it up with Union Government and also discussed with the Prime Minister about ill effects of air pollution caused by straw burning in the state which has highest contribution in nation’s food bowl.
Punjab Health and Family Welfare Brahm Mohindra

In 2016, the High Court of Delhi had ordered the chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to monitor crop stubble burning and ensure that it would not happen the next year.

During the winter of 2017, pollution levels in the National Capital Region (NCR) reached dangerously high levels, prompting the Medical Council of India (MCI) to declare a medical emergency and close schools and office. While activists and courts were grasping at straws with bans on construction and fire-crackers, the situation grew out of hand.

While Haryana’s efforts at cracking down on burning went unnoticed, Punjab – the largest contributor – passed the buck on the Centre saying it had no money to take action.

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