HC asks UP, Haryana & Punjab abt steps to stop crop burning

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New Delhi | Published: September 29, 2016 8:33:54 PM

The menace of burning crop- stubble in northern states, a major cause of pollution in the national capital region, today led Delhi High Court to ask the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab about their action plan to stop this practice.

The court's direction came on a PIL initiated by it on the issue of air pollution in the national capital. (Reuters)The court?s direction came on a PIL initiated by it on the issue of air pollution in the national capital. (Reuters)

The menace of burning crop- stubble in northern states, a major cause of pollution in the national capital region, today led Delhi High Court to ask the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab about their action plan to stop this practice.

A bench of Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Ashutosh Kumar sought to know the steps these states intend to take to curb air pollution caused by the burning of the residue of harvest to clear the fields before sowing the next crop after Diwali.

It directed the states to ensure that their action plans are followed in “letter and spirit” and asked them to file status reports before the next date of hearing on October 6.

Earlier the court had asked Delhi government to ensure “zero burning” of bio-mass this year by the neighbouring states.

The court’s direction came on a PIL initiated by it on the issue of air pollution in the national capital.

Replying to the court’s direction, the Delhi government’s environment and forest department special secretary said they were “very serious about the issue of burning of any kind of garbage, leaves, waste, plastic and rubber etc. and dust control on construction sites”.

“Ministry of Enviornemnt, GNCTD, has been taking monthly meetings on the issue,” Delhi government’s counsel told the court.

It further said they have sent a letter to Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to stop leaf burning and crop burning in the neighbouring states.

In November, farmers sow crops like wheat and vegetables. They often set fire to their fields to clear them before planting new crops, which leads to creation of “blinding and suffocating” smog over large parts of the national capital region.

The court had earlier observed that the government should not only think of eliminating the burning of stubble but should also suggest alternatives to farmers in this regard.

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