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NGT directs Agri Min to submit report on steps taken to stop crop burning

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Agriculture to furnish a status report within two weeks on the steps taken to stop crop residue burning, which results in air pollution.

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Agriculture to furnish a status report within two weeks on the steps taken to stop crop residue burning, which results in air pollution.

The tribunal directed the ministry to continue to monitor the preventive steps and furnish a status report on or before April 30. As per information, no such report has been received by the tribunal from the Ministry of Agriculture.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked the Agriculture Ministry to submit the report by e-mail.

"Before taking coercive measures, we give an opportunity to the Ministry of Agriculture to furnish its report within two weeks by e-mail at ngt.filing@gmail.com, failing which we may have to enforce personal appearance of the secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, and take penal action, if necessary," the bench said.

The tribunal directed that the report may be in terms of cumulative assessment of the problems and the remedies implemented and proposed.

The matter is posted for next hearing on May 28.

The tribunal had earlier said there was a need to find a long-lasting solution for the problems of stubble burning and directed the chief secretaries of four states to appear before it to explain ways to prevent it.

The green panel was hearing the matter after taking note of a news report published in an English daily titled, "All fiddle as crop stubble burns, farmers say solutions out of reach."

The report had claimed that crop burning shoots up the carbon dioxide levels in the air by 70 per cent.

It had said every year in October quality of air in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana deteriorates as farmers set leftover stubble and loose straw on fire after paddy is harvested.