For the past few years, like many other parts of the world, India is also facing the problem of air pollution. Instead of reducing or harnessing, it is growing rapidly, which sets the government to think a strong alternative. With the very onset of winter, this year, India’s national capital, Delhi, literally turned into a gas chamber. It clearly indicates the growing pollution level in India. It’s a chilling reminder that in spite of various attempts by the government together with proactive environmental groups, humans literally become helpless while dealing with serious problems like air pollution.
According to various researches and from drone images, it has been pointed out that stubble burning in neighboring states were the main reason behind such an alarming increase in air pollution. Moreover, researchers pointed out nearly 40% of air pollution in Delhi caused due to stubble burning in the adjoining states.
Efforts were taken by both the state and central government to harness stubble burning, but due to the disobedience nature of farmers, it could not be controlled. Then strict punishments were introduced to various parts of Punjab, Haryana and parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The West Bengal Pollution Control Board is about to install IoT sensors from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to deal with growing air pollution. IIT Delhi is also working with ISRO on the same project. According to sources, these two institutes are about to sign MoU on the same.
West Bengal State Government ordered the police forces to take necessary action on stubble burning after viewing the horrible images of neighboring states. The IoT embedded sensors will help in tracking various stubble burning incidents across the state. WBPCB scientists will operate the system as the receiving end, who will inform the top officials of the board who will take care of further administration. Earlier this year, West Bengal banned stubble burning and conducted a series of awareness campaigns to educate the grassroots and providing them advanced farming equipment so that they won’t indulge further in the burning practice. But the problem was still there, mainly in the eastern state.
The main reason of stubble burning lies deeper. According to Kalyan Rudra, Pollution Control Board (PCB) chief: along with technological advancements, the stopgap between Kharif and Rabi crop has been shortened. In order to prepare the land, the farmers had to rely on quick technology by using mechanical harvester. During the process, a substantial part of the crop root remains as a residue, which helps the land to get prepared faster.
Earlier this year, India, together with Sweden jointly announced the launch of a pilot project for converting paddy stubble in green coal in Mohali Punjab. The prime reason behind the initiative is to create a platform for government and private state holders to put a light on to the emergence of joint innovation policy to tackle future stubble burning issues of the nation.
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