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What is the News?
The Union Environment Ministry has convened a meeting with representatives from Delhi and neighbouring States that see pollution levels soar during winter.
Delhi and other neighbouring States see pollution levels rise during winter.
The reasons for the pollution levels rise include meteorological conditions that exacerbate pollution, emissions from vehicles, thermal plants and the burning of rice chaff in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh ahead of the winter sowing of wheat.
What was discussed at the meeting?
The meeting discussed the strategy to deal with stubble burning and pollution in the city in winter.
However, no new measures were announced during the meeting. But the focus appeared to be on strengthening existing programmes.
Measures that will be taken by States
The Haryana government will be spending ₹200 crores to dissuade farmers from burning the rice stubble.
Uttar Pradesh is deploying an organic chemical, a “decomposer”, that will dissolve the collected straw and turn it into manure.
Other measures which are being reinforced are mandating the use of biomass with 50% paddy straw as a supplement fuel in coal plants in the National Capital Region (NCR) and setting up a committee that will look at ways to repurpose the stubble as fodder for cattle in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Moreover, the Commission for Air Quality Improvement in NCR and Adjoining Areas is also following up with these States to ensure that these plans have been strictly adhered to.
Source: This post is based on the following articles
- “Centre, States outline plans to stem pollution” published in The Hindu on 24th September 2021.
- “Stress on bio-decomposer as a lasting solution to Delhi’s winter of discontent” published in TOI on 24th September 2021.