As harvesting of Kharif (summer sown) crops has started, people in North India are concerned that pollution level would rise again this year because of burning of crop residues by farmers.
Government and corporates have swung into action this year to mitigate the impact of stubble burning. Farmers burn crop residues to prepare field for sowing of winter crops like wheat.
One such initiative was taken by two industry bodies Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) by launching a project ‘Sukh da Saah’ at Patiala in Punjab.
Under the joint initiative by CII and SIAM, 1500 farmers belonging to three cooperative Societies, namely, Jasso Majra, Bhorey and Mallewar Farmer Multipurpose Cooperative Societies have pledged to make the entire village with 7000 acres of farm land to go stubble burning free.
Under this project, CII and SIAM are helping farmers in building awareness as well as procure Happy Seeder, Mulcher & other required farm machines to stop burning of crop residues.
Industry members such as Cummins, Birlasoft and other SIAM members have provided financial support for this project.
Rashid Hassan, Advisor, SIAM said ” ‘Sukh da Saah’ is a pilot project that will enable adopting alternative stubble management techniques for improving air quality across the state. We need to understand that crop residue mixed with soil reaps best benefits”
Charanjit Singh, Director Punjab Pollution Control Board said that mulching of crop-residues would improve soil health and cut air pollution.
Sarvjit Singh Samra, Chairman, CII Punjab State Council & Managing Director, Capital Small Finance Bank Ltd said “Post evaluating and learning from work in Ludhiana and Patiala, CII will further scale-up the initiative next year.”