According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), farmers in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh are “forced” to burn stubble because their state governments have not put in place necessary machinery or assistance programmes.
The chief secretaries of the four states were questioned on November 10 after the commission took suo motu notice of the continued air pollution in Delhi and the national capital region, according to a statement from the human rights monitor.
The state governments are required to provide harvesting equipment to remove stubble, but they have not done so in sufficient numbers or with other methods. After taking into account the comments from the involved states and the Delhi government, the commission concluded that farmers are compelled to burn the stubbles, which results in pollution.
Furthermore, it stated that no state could hold the farmers accountable for burning stray grass. Instead, the burning of stubble in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and UP, which significantly pollutes the air, is a result of the failure of all four state governments.
The commission has requested that the concerned chief secretaries attend the subsequent hearing in the matter on November 18 in person or via hybrid mode and provide a response within four days that positively addresses the issues identified by the commission.
The Punjab government has been asked by the NHRC to explain the reason behind the shortage in the purchase of crop residue management machines, as well as the number of machines set aside for panchayats, cooperatives, and poor farmers. Additionally, it has requested information on the bio-decomposers used and the dates of all fires since last year.
The Delhi administration has been requested by the NHRC to inform about the actions taken to restrict open burning.
“The Delhi government sprayed free bio-decomposer on 2368.5 acres of paddy growing area out of 5,000 acres of farmland in Delhi only until November 7. The NHRC has requested justifications for not applying it to the remaining area as well as an estimate of when this will be accomplished.It has also requested information from the Delhi government on the number of illegal businesses that are open and closed, as well as information on the number of mobile and stationary anti-smog guns that have been deployed on various roads, high-rise buildings, and high-traffic areas with dates and locations.