New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change on Friday informed that the total paddy area in the states of Punjab, Haryana, and eight National Capital Region (NCR) districts of Uttar Pradesh have come down by 7.72 per cent. The ministry, in a press release, said, “The paddy areas have come down by 7.72 percent during the current year as compared to last year.”
“Total paddy straw generation from the non-basmati variety is likely to be reduced by 12.42 per cent during the current year as compared to the previous year,” the ministry added. Both the Central and the state governments of Haryana, Punjab, and UP have been taking measures to diversify crops as well as to reduce the use of the PUSA-44 variety of paddy.
The burning of paddy straw from the non-basmati variety of crops is the prime concern. Crop diversification and moving away from PUSA-44 varieties with short duration High Yielding Varieties are part of the framework and action plan for control of stubble burning. As per data received from the state governments of Haryana, Punjab, and UP, the total amount of paddy straw generated will come down this year.
Significantly a figurative overview says of the total paddy straw generation is likely to come down by 1.31 million tonnes (from 20.05 million tonnes in 2020 to 18.74 million tonnes in 2021) in Punjab; by 0.8 million tonnes (from 7.6 million tonnes in 2020 to 6.8 million tonnes in 2021) in Haryana and; by 0.09 million tonnes (from 0.75 million tonnes in 2020 to 0.67 million tonnes in 2021) in the eight NCR districts of UP this year.
The total quantity of straw generated by the respective states was 28.4 million tonnes in 2020 which is now expected to come down to 26.21 million tonnes in 2021.The decrease in non-basmati variety is expected to be even higher.
As per recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of the Government of India, Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) had actively pursued with state governments for promotion of the same. Apart from this, the Crop Diversification Programs are also being implemented in the states of Punjab and Haryana along with the NCR Districts of UP to divert the area of water-guzzling paddy to alternate crops.