Millennium Post

NGT to take up case of stubble burning in neighbouring states by October end

NEW DELHI: To combat the air quality of the Capital, the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday said it would consider later this month the steps taken by the Centre and Punjab and Haryana governments to check burning of crop residue by farmers to curb air pollution.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar deferred the matter for hearing on October 30 after lawyers appearing for both the parties sought the adjournment of the case.
Various government agencies have noted that the air quality of the Capital has reached the danger zone. The agencies have also identified that one of the major cause of pollution is stubble burning in the neighbouring states. Following this, the green panel had said: "We expect no individual, body, department, panchayat, associations to directly or indirectly recommend or promote burning of crop residues in Punjab, UP and Haryana."
On the last date of hearing, the green panel had said the "serious" issue of stubble burning was still going on and had sought the response of the Centre as well as the Punjab and Haryana governments.
The tribunal had also sought a reply from the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) as to why it cannot take the stubble from the farmers under its corporate social responsibility programme for the "general cause of environment".
The NGT had on October 11 directed Punjab to produce the farmers after the state said it had provided assistance to some of them to encourage them not to burn crop residue. The tribunal had taken exception to the fact that even after more than two years, nothing substantial has been done with regard to stubble burning.
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