stubble burning
Amritsar: Stubble being burnt in a field on the outskirts of Amritsar on Oct 13, 2017.IANS

The National Green Tribunal has asked Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to file progress reports indicating the "strategies and proposed action plan" of crop burning.

"The concerned states may also file their respective progress reports which may include the strategies and action plan proposed to be employed to tackle the problem in the current year," the NGT said in its order.

The tribunal was hearing a plea by Ganga Lalwani, which sought direction for providing machinery to poor and marginal farmers in order to avoid crop residue burning.

Crop burning in Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi was a major cause of air pollution in Delhi, which contributed to around 25-30 per cent of the air pollution in the city. The present order by the tribunal came after deaths due to air pollution and crop burning were reported in the national capital.

The NGT bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, said that the issue for consideration before it was the remedial action needed to tackle air pollution.

The bench referred to a report by the Agriculture Ministry during the proceedings. Based on the report, the tribunal recommended the use of crop residue for generating bio-energy, providing crop rotating machinery timely so as to be available during sowing period, preferring shorter duration paddy varieties and strengthening media campaigns against crop burning.

Apart from these, the tribunal also said that use of drones and satellite imagery to map hot-spots, as done in respect of forest fires, may also be explored by the ministry and the states concerned.

(With agency inputs.)