paddy harvesting season

Paddy Harvesting Season Ends, Significant Decrease In Stubble Burning

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Thursday said that the paddy harvesting season for the year 2023 came to an end witnessing a significant decrease in stubble burning.

Over the last 3 years, incidents of paddy stubble burning have witnessed a significant decrease, including in 2023, both for Punjab and Haryana.

As per the Environment Ministry Change formulation of district-specific action plans, intensified monitoring at the level of Chief Secretary, Deputy Commissioners and officers concerned in the State Govts, improving availability and utilisation of machines for management and a quantum rise in utilisation of paddy straw for various industrial/commercial applications has led to a substantial decrease in paddy straw burning incidents in Punjab and Haryana.

“Against cumulative 83,002 fire counts on account of paddy stubble burning in Punjab during 2020, the fire counts in the corresponding period were 71,304 during 2021, 49,922 during 2022 and 36,663 during 2023” Ministry said.

Ministry informed that for the Haryana 4,202 fire counts were reported in 2020.

“Against this figure, paddy stubble burning cases were 6,987 in 2021, 3,661 in 2022 and 2,303 in 2023 respectively,” an official statement said.

Punjab recorded an overall 27 per cent decrease in the total fire counts owing to paddy stubble burning during 2023 as compared to 2022.

“In terms of district-wise performance of Punjab in this context, 4 districts namely Muktsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Rupnagar recorded more than 50 per cent reduction in the paddy farm fires during 2023 as compared to 2022, while 5 districts viz,” ministry said.

“Bathinda, Fazilka, Ludhiana, Tarn Taran and Patiala recorded an improvement of 27 per cent – 50 per cent in their respective fire counts over figures in 2022. 11 districts namely Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Malerkotla, Mansa, Moga, Sangrur and SBS Nagar also witnessed a reduction ranging up to 27% in the farm fires during 2023,” it added.

Three districts in Punjab namely Amritsar, SAS Nagar and Pathankot emerged as a concern with an increase in the number of their respective fire counts during 2023 vis-a-vis 2022, the ministry said.

Ministry said that districts where more than 50 per cent reduction in the fire counts was recorded during 2023 as compared to 2022 are Kaithal, Karnal and Panipat while 3 districts Kurukshetra, Sirsa and Yamuna Nagar recorded a reduction between 37 percent-50 percent over the corresponding figures in 2022.

According to the ministry, the single-day highest fire count in Punjab was 5491 in 2020, 5327 in 2021, 3916 in 2022 and 3230 in 2023. The single-day highest fire count in Haryana was 166 in 2020, 363 in 2021, 250 in 2022 and 127 in 2023.

Ministry said that despite a significant reduction in the number of farm fires owing to paddy stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana the resultant improvement did not reflect as much in the daily average AQI of Delhi / NCR during the month of November.

“Primarily owing to highly unfavourable meteorology and climate conditions prevailing over the region particularly since the last week of October, with low-speed winds from the north-westerly direction, very low rainfall and near-calm wind conditions over Delhi which badly impeded the dispersion of pollutants, thus reflecting in a much higher AQI during the month of November, 2023 as compared to the November months in preceding years,” an official statement said. (ANI)

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India Welcomes Loss & Damage Fund

COP 27: India Welcomes Loss & Damage Fund As ‘Justice’

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav called COP27 a “historic COP” adding that “the world has waited far too long for the ‘loss and damage fund’ agreement.”

The minister was speaking at the closing plenary of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) held on Sunday at Sharm El-Sheikh. In his remarks at the closing session of the COP27, Yadav welcomed the transition to a Sustainable Lifestyle and sustainable patterns of consumption.

He stated that India welcomes efforts to address climate change. Addressing the Egyptian Presidency, Bhupender Yadav called it a “historic COP” where an agreement was made for a “loss and damage funding” arrangement. He noted that the world has waited “far too” long for the loss and damage funding agreement.

“You are presiding over a historic COP where agreement has been secured for loss and damage funding arrangement including setting up a loss and damage fund. The world has waited far too long for this,” Bhupender Yadav said in his remarks at the closing session of the COP27.

“We congratulate you on your untiring efforts to evolve consensus,” he added.

Bhupender Yadav said, “We also welcome the transition to Sustainable Lifestyle and sustainable patterns of consumption and production in our efforts to address climate change in the cover address.”

He further said, “We note that we are establishing a four-year work programme on climate action, agriculture, and food security. Agriculture, the mainstay of livelihood for millions of smallholders of farmers will be hard hit by climate change. So, we should not burden them with mitigation responsibilities.”

Yadav noted that India has kept mitigation in agriculture out of its NDCs. He announced that India is creating a work programme on just transition. Highlighting the importance of just transition, Union Minister for Agriculture said, “For most developing countries, just transition cannot be equated with decarbonisation but with low carbon development.”

In his remarks at the closing session of the COP27, Bhupender Yadav said, “Developing countries need independence in their choice of the energy mix and in achieving the SDGs. Developed countries taking the lead in climate action is, therefore, a very important aspect of the global just transition.”

Earlier, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the decision to establish a “loss and damage fund.” In a video message to the 27th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Guterres called the creation of a “loss and damage fund” an “important step” towards justice.

Guterres stressed that the decision will not be enough but noted that it is a “much-needed political signal to rebuild broken trust.” In his remarks, he expressed gratitude to the Egyptian government and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry for their hospitality. He appreciated the delegates and members of civil society who came to Sharm el-Sheikh to push leaders for climate action.

“The conference has taken an important step towards justice. I welcome the decision to establish a loss and damage fund and to operationalize it in the coming period,” Antonio Guterres said in the video message.

“Clearly this will not be enough, but it is a much-needed political signal to rebuild broken trust,” he added.

On Sunday, the delegates at the COP27 agreed for establishing the “Loss and Damage Fund.” The “Loss and Damage Fund” will help to make up for the losses suffered by developing nations that are vulnerable to climate change. (ANI)

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Pollution Levels Rise in NCR-Delhi

Watch – ‘Zero Concern For Air Quality At Ground Level’

As pollution levels rise in NCR-Delhi, doctors warn the spread of Covid-19 may worsen. LokMarg speaks to environmentalist Sanjeev Lakda and several residents about the rise and air pollution level, its reasons and harmful impact in pandemic times.

There is unanimity that ‘Unlock’ has spelled doom for the Capital region’s environment. With the return of industrial, vehicular and stubble-burning activities, Delhi residents are now plagued with a double-whammy of bad air and virus.

Watch the video here: