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EPCA submits report to SC on Punjab-Haryana stubble burning, writes to state CSs again

ANI | Updated: Sep 30, 2020 20:39 IST

By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): Supreme Court-mandated pollution watchdog Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) on Wednesday submitted its report to the apex court on Punjab-Haryana stubble burning.
Bhure Lal, chairperson, EPCA said, "EPCA has submitted a report to Supreme court today on Punjab-Haryana Stubble burning. Whatever has been done on the ground to implement the directions of the Supreme Court has been apprised to the state governments. We have enumerated arrangements made with regard to the distribution of tools, subsidy disbursed, and infrastructure to enable the farmers to convert it into the bale, among other things."
EPCA has also written to the chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana to ensure that burning does not take place as directed by the apex court.
The letter indicates the need to ensure small and marginal farmers have access to the mechanism which has been provided to Custom Hiring Centers (CHC) at affordable rates or free of cost.

However, the authority has raised concern that the "rate for the rental which is been waived off is not apparent. The cost of operation is also not laid down" and urges the states to ensure this for the benefits of the farmers.
The state governments may also be directed to set up a control room for monitoring daily fire reports and enforcement action that is being taken.
Earlier on September 22, EPCA wrote to the Chief Secretary of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh to take stock of the situation and take action after the early burning of crop residue was brought to notice.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoETCC) will also conduct a meeting on October 1 on the issue related to air pollution and stubble burning.
"Following COVID-19 pandemic situation, the issue stubble burning if not given attention on time will 'exacerbate' air pollution and will add to co-morbidity challenges," said EPCA. (ANI)