Green Bench asks Chief Secretaries of 4 States to draw up scheme to check pollution
Stating that State governments had failed to curb stubble burning, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday summoned the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Officers have been directed to draw up a plan to provide economic incentives and disincentives to farmers.
Observing that stubble burning is adversely affecting environment and public health, a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “The fact remains that the problem has not been fully tackled and the adverse impacts on the air quality and consequent impacts on the citizens’ health and lives are undisputed.”
“The problem is required to be resolved by taking all such measures as are possible in the interest of public health and environment protection” the Bench added.
During the hearing, it was suggested to the Bench that incentives could be provided to those who are not burning the stubble and disincentives for those who continue the practice.
“We do not see any difficulty why such economic incentives and disincentives should not be duly planned or executed. We make it clear that the existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) Scheme must be so interpreted as to enable the States concerned to wholly or partly deny the benefit of MSP to those who continue to burn the crop residue” the Bench said.
While the officers have been asked to be present on November 15, the NGT specified that the “short time is on account of the urgency of the situation with regard to deteriorating air quality prevailing in NCT Delhi and adjoining areas.”
Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has also been directed to be present to “find a lasting solution.”
The NGT also said that “it is open to the Central government” convening a meeting with the States.
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