Stubble burning: NGT directs Punjab, Haryana to prepare time-bound action plan for 2024

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New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed Punjab and Haryana to formulate a time-bound plan to tackle stubble burning between January 1 and September 1, 2024, emphasising farm fires were a "serious problem" and preparations for remedial action should start now.


The NGT was hearing a matter where it had taken cognisance of a newspaper report about the rise in air pollution because of crop residue burning in Punjab.

A bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava said according to a Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) report, there were 36,632 farm fire incidents in Punjab and 2,285 of those had occurred from September 15 to November 28 this year.

The bench, also comprising judicial member Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi and expert member A Senthil Vel, said according to district-wise cumulative data, the maximum number of 5352 stubble burning incidents took place in Sangrur district of Punjab, while the corresponding figure for Haryana was 476 in Fatehabad district between September 15 and November 16.


Acknowledging that farm fire incidents were now on the wane, the bench, in an order passed on Wednesday, said according to the report, there were no incidents of farm fires in Haryana, while only 18 were reported in Punjab on November 28.

It said the issue of paddy residue burning arose mainly between September 15 and November 30.

"Serious problem of residue burning arises every year, therefore, for the next year i.e, 2024 a comprehensive plan and remedial action needs to start at this stage itself," the bench said.

"We direct the State of Punjab and Haryana to prepare a time-bound action plan disclosing phase-wise proposed action from January 1, 2024 to September 1, 2024, which may include various preventive steps for the next year as also the accountable authorities for implementation of the same," the green panel added.

The tribunal posted the matter for further proceedings on January 19 after noting that the counsel for Punjab has assured such an action plan will be submitted within six weeks.