Stubble burning is a process of setting on fire the straw stubble, left after the harvesting of grains like paddy, wheat, etc. It is usually required in areas that use the combined harvesting method which leaves crop residue behind. Burning crop residue is a crime under Section 188 of the IPC and under the Air and Pollution Control Act of 1981. However, it is a common practice across North West India in October and November, around the withdrawal of South-West monsoon.
For farmers, burning the residue becomes the easiest way of disposing it owing to lack of time, equipment and awareness. But, this practice contributes immensely to the grave winter air pollution in the national capital. In fact, stubble burning has created a massive public health crisis – its fumes pollute swathes of northern India and endanger the health of hundreds of millions of people. Hence, it leads to an annual public health crisis year after year.
In the past several years central and state governments have taken several measures to cast down the number of stubble burning incidents happening every year. Some of them have been listed as follows:
The initiatives of government to prevent stubble burning have moved ahead from banning and punishing the farmers. The above listed steps hold immense potential to stop stubble burning in the long run.