Times News Network: The National Green Tribunalhas directed the agriculture ministry to hold a meeting with Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi to prepare “composite” guidelines to prevent pollution caused by straw burning.
A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the agriculture ministry to also specify the manner and time frame required to implement the guidelines.
“We direct the ministry of agriculture to hold a meeting with all the states, including Punjab and Haryana, central pollution control board (CPCB) and the national academy of agricultural sciences and prepare composite and complete guidelines for preventing and controlling the pollution resulting from burning agricultural remnants in open fields…modality and time frame for its implementation should be placed before the tribunal,” the bench said.
The order was passed after all the parties, including the Centre, state governments and CPCB suggested the formation of general guidelines. The tribunal has listed the matter for further hearing on March 21.
NGT was hearing a plea by environmentalist Vikrant Tongad who has alleged that burning of agricultural residue in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh is responsible for air pollution locally and smog in the NCR.
In the winter of 2012, a major smog episode was witnessed in the city. The Delhi government had blamed the neighbouring states for it. Environment Pollution Control Authority had directed the states, especially Punjab, to issue notifications to stop the burning of agricultural residues.
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