Non-basmati paddy straw in Haryana, Punjab, UP likely to reduce by 12 pc this year: CAQM
The Centre's Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Friday said paddy straw generation from non-basmati varieties in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh is likely to come down by 12.42 per cent compared to last year.
Farmers burn non-basmati paddy straw as it cannot be used as fodder due to its high silica content.
''Paddy straw generation from non-basmati varieties is expected to decrease from 17.82 million tonnes in 2020 to 16.07 million tonnes in 2021 in Punjab and from 3.5 million tonnes in 2020 to 2.9 million tonnes in 2021 in Haryana,'' the panel said in a statement.
It said the burning of paddy straw from the non-basmati variety of crops is of prime concern.
''Steps taken towards reducing paddy straw generation are yielding positive results. The total paddy area in Haryana, Punjab and the eight NCR districts of Uttar Pradesh has come down by 7.72 per cent as compared to last year. ''Similarly, paddy straw generation from non-basmati varieties is likely to be reduced by 12.42 per cent as compared to last year,'' the CAQM said.
Central and state governments have been taking measures to diversify crops and to reduce the use of the PUSA-44 variety of paddy.
The PUSA-44 paddy variety is a major consumer of groundwater. It takes around 145 to 150 days to mature, leading to a shorter window for wheat sowing after the harvest. Farmers burn the crop residue to quickly clear the field. The commission said crop diversification and moving away from the PUSA-44 variety with short-duration high-yielding varieties are part of the framework and action plan for controlling stubble burning.
''Paddy straw generation is likely to come down from 20.05 million tonnes in 2020 to 18.74 million tonnes in 2021 in Punjab; from 7.6 million tonnes in 2020 to 6.8 million tonnes in 2021 in Haryana and from 0.75 million tonnes in 2020 to 0.67 million tonnes in 2021 in the eight NCR districts of UP this year,'' the CAQM said.
The commission had earlier directed the state governments to promote short-duration and early-maturing varieties of crops since they can be dealt with efficiently and provide a much wider window for paddy straw management.
Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh attract attention during the paddy harvesting season between October 15 and November 15 as farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue before cultivating wheat and potato.
It is one of the main reasons for the alarming spike in pollution in Delhi-NCR.
Despite a ban on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, farmers continue to defy it as there is a short window between harvesting paddy and sowing wheat. The high cost of manual or mechanical management of straw is a major reason why farmers choose to burn stubble.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)