Delhi’s Air pollution is not a new thing anymore. It has been quite some years since we are hearing that the national capital region has turned into a ‘gas chamber’ which is unstainable for people to live or breath.
‘Stubble burning’ is seen as a major (or sometimes even the only reason) culprit behind this. Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is seen putting all the burden on his counterparts in Haryana and Punjab for failing to curb the practice in their state.
However, no effective way is found out to bring down the practice and to get some cuts in the misery of air pollution. The interesting part is that there are solutions to this problem that are both scientific and effective in nature. While you wonder what are they we request you to not run the “horses of your brain” as we are here to discuss about those ways with you.
Reduction In Paddy Production And Area
Paddy crop is the reason why stubble burning happens. The idea should be to reduce the production and area of its produce. Allowing farmers to plant the paddy crop before the month of June and distributing the “happy seeder” (the machine to effectively remove the stubble) can do the trick.
States like Punjab and Haryana are not traditional rice producers and have that option to scale down the area and produce of the crop. This would also open the door of crop diversification for the farmers.
Compensation To The Farmer
Now that is something that is not talked about very often. If we go about implementing the first step then this would have an impact on farmers in financial terms. A farmer who is asked to diversify his crop and reduce the rice produce would face the downing of profit.
To ease that burden on farmer government that is respective state government (with help from Centre) can announce a sustainable compensation to the farmer. This way the farmer would feel encouraged to opt for the diversification rather than being forced to adopt it as a practice.
Free Power To Cash Transfer
At present, the Punjab government offers free power to farmers to operate tube wells. This allows farmers easy access to the groundwater resources which further translate into a thrust towards the production of rice (a water-intensive crop).
This can be replaced with direct benefit transfer to the farmers. Policy experts have also pointed out that shifting to direct benefit transfer or cash transfer in lieu of grains in the public distribution system by the Centre can be a game-changer.
Thus, the crux of it all lies in considering the economic condition of farmers, exploring the scientific options available and the willingness of the Central government to change policy and fund a major part of the expenditure.
Credits: The Hindu