News Brief

NHRC Urges Swift Action To Curb Stubble Burning And Tackle Delhi's Air Pollution Crisis

Nayan Dwivedi

Sep 30, 2023, 03:36 PM | Updated 03:35 PM IST

 Stuble burning (Shammi Mehra/AFP/Getty Images)
Stuble burning (Shammi Mehra/AFP/Getty Images)

Justice Arun Mishra, the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), expressed profound concern on Friday over the sluggish progress in curbing stubble burning to mitigate air pollution in the national capital.

He underscored the imperative of holding officers accountable at all levels for this pressing issue.

Last year, the NHRC took cognizance of Delhi's air pollution based on media reports.

In a follow-up meeting of the full commission on Friday, the Chairman stressed the urgent need to address the air pollution crisis, given the widespread suffering among millions of people and stressed that such a situation cannot be allowed to persist.

Justice Mishra noted that it would be unjust to solely blame impoverished farmers for stubble burning, as many lack the financial means to acquire or rent equipment for timely stubble removal between crop harvest and sowing.

In addition to providing subsidies, states should allocate resources to support those farmers unable to afford costly machinery, Justice Mishra added.

Regarding potential solutions, the NHRC cautioned that while crop rotation and diversification from other paddy varieties to Basmati may help reduce pollution, they may not fully resolve the issue.

To monitor progress, the Commission has requested daily status reports from the States of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh regarding the distribution of machines to farmers.

These reports are expected to be submitted within the next 15 days.

Additionally, the states are urged to provide updates on the allocation of machines in each district to assist farmers with financial constraints.

Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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