Haryana Environment Minister Vipul Goel today said a reward of Rs 50,000 each to 100 gram panchayats will be given if they pass a resolution that they would not allow any crop residue burning in their villages. The reward would be paid by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) every year to the panchayats in the major paddy-producing districts. The panchayats would be rewarded subject to confirmation of “zero burning” in those villages as verified by the reports of the district-level committee and the Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC) remote sensing data, he said.
The HSPCB had been implementing its enforcement functions, besides creating awareness among the people and providing incentives to those who are refraining from crop residue burning, the minister said. “District-level committees have been constituted for monitoring, and at state level, the situation is being closely monitored by the high-level committee,” he said.
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Goel said Punjab and Haryana have been facing severe criticism for the practice of burning the crop residues, especially in the paddy harvesting season during the onset of winter in November and December every year. Environmentalists claim that this practice has contributed adversely to severe air pollution in Delhi and National Capital Region districts.
During the worst-ever crisis of air pollution experienced in November and December last year, these two states were blamed for not controlling crop burning effectively. The National Green Tribunal came down heavily on the states, insisting on introduction of policy-level decisions on incentives, distribution of eco-friendly harvest equipment and enforcement.