Expect pay cuts if stubble burning goes on, says NGT
The NGT had in November 2015 banned crop residue burning in five states — Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. The Delhi High Court had also directed the states to ensure the ban is enforced.delhi Updated: Aug 04, 2017 23:36 IST
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) warned the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Friday that it would stop salaries of government officials if the authorities fail to come up with an action plan to prevent stubble burning, which triggers heavy pollution in Delhi-NCR, within a week.
“This is your final and last opportunity. If within a week you don’t come up with an action plan on how to prevent stubble burning in at least one district in your state, we would be compelled to attach your treasury and bank account. You won’t get salary,” a bench comprising NGT chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar said on Friday.
The NGT had in November 2015 banned crop residue burning in five states — Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. The Delhi High Court had also directed the states to ensure the ban is enforced.
But after NASA imageries cited fresh cases of stubble burning in May, the NGT directed the state to come up with action plans on how to prevent the menace.
“We cannot subject everybody to ill-health just because you don’t work. You had more than one year to implement it. This is the fourth time we are telling you to come up with action plan,” the bench observed.
Pollution levels in Delhi shoot up in September-October primarily because of stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.
The NGT on Friday directed the state governments to come up with an action plan for at least one district with the name of an officer who could be held accountable.
The plan should contain the name of one district officer who would implement the plan, what is to be done with the stubble, how much compensation would the farmers receive, who would procure the stubble and what would be done with stubble.
“Which farmer would not accept money and give away the stubbles if he knows that burning of stubbles would not just harm his child but also the soil. Did you tell the farmers that the emissions could kill their children?” the bench asked when the counsel appearing on behalf of Punjab government claimed that awareness camps have been organised.