New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed serious concerns over the tardy progress towards achieving zero stubble burning to reduce air pollution in Delhi and said that the farmers cannot be blamed solely for it.
Justice Arun Mishra, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, said “We have to rise to the situation as millions are choking due to air pollution and cannot allow it to be so perpetually. The poor farmers cannot be blamed solely for stubble burning some of them do not have the financial resources to buy or hire machines to remove stubble in a short span between the harvesting of one crop and the sowing of the other. The states besides giving subsidies to farmers should also make arrangements to keep them in reserve for those farmers who cannot afford costly equipment. Providing subsidies for the machines cannot be a solution for all.”
The Commission also said the crop rotation or diversification from other paddy varieties to Basmati may reduce the reasons for the pollution but may not end the problem. The governments will have to share their responsibility.
Likewise, the Commission said “The option of in situ management of the crop waste is also time-consuming and the farmers may not be able to delay their sowing for the next crop. The Commission has asked the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to submit status reports on affidavits on the machines supplied to the farmers on a daily basis to achieve the targeted procurement of machines in the next 15 days. They are also expected to submit status reports on machines which are proposed to be reserved in every district for those farmers who cannot afford it.”
The Commission has asked the state governments to submit a road map within 15 days ensuring to end human intervention in cleaning hazardous septic tanks and sewage cleaning in order to discharge statutory obligations.