Farmers ‘forced’ to burn stubble: NHRC
The commission has asked Haryana, Punjab and governments of two other states to furnish details of steps taken to check stubble burning
Farmers of Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are ‘forced’ to burn stubble as the state governments have failed to provide adequate machines and implement measures to help them, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said.
The human rights watchdog in a statement said that chief secretaries of the four states were heard on November 10 after the commission took suo motu cognisance of unabated air pollution in Delhi and the national capital region.
“The state governments have to provide harvest machines to get rid of stubble but they have failed to provide adequate number of machines and other measures. As a result, farmers are forced to burn the stubbles, causing pollution,’’ the commission said after considering the responses of the concerned states and the Delhi government.
It further said that none of the states can blame the farmers for stubble burning. Instead, it is due to the failure of all the four state governments that the stubble burning is happening in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and UP, causing enormous pollutants in the air.
The commission has asked the concerned chief secretaries to remain present again, either in person or hybrid mode, on November 18 for the next hearing in the matter and submit their response within four days positively on the points raised by the commission.
The commission has asked the Haryana government about the details of area covered for bio-degrading and number of hotspots identified in the villages, steps taken to stop construction activities and details of challans.
The NHRC has asked the Punjab government to inform reason for the shortfall in the purchase of the crop residue management machines, number of machines reserved for panchayats and cooperatives and poor farmers. It has also sought details of bio-decomposers used and date-wise fire incidents from last year till date.
The NHRC has asked the Delhi government to apprise about the steps taken to control open burning.
“Out of 5,000 acres of farmland in Delhi, bio-decomposer was sprinkled free of cost by the Delhi government in 2368.5 acres of paddy growing area only till November 7. Reasons for not sprinkling it in the remaining area and by what time the same will be achieved be also furnished,” the NHRC has asked.
It has also sought details from the Delhi government of mobile and static anti-smog guns deployed on various roads, with date and places and on high rise buildings along with area-wise details of surviving trees which were planted, number of illegal industries running and closed.
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