Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding stubble fires in Punjab aggravating air pollution, 20/10/2023
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In re : News item appearing in Hindu dated 06.10.2023 titled “Pollution takes a front seat as stubble fires spike in Punjab” dated 20/10/2023.
The matter related to stubble fires in Punjab aggravating air pollution. According to the news report published in the newspaper, Hindu, October 6, 2023 - the state had witnessed 656 farm fire incidents and the same were up by around 63 per cent against the corresponding period for the previous year. The previous year’s figures upto that period are disclosed to be 415. Hence, the report says there is a rise of 241 cases. District Amritsar was the worst hit district with 429 farm fire cases and Tarn Taran Sahib district was second with 88 such incidents.
The NGT directed the state authorities as also the officers of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to identify the worst affected areas within the hotspot districts and focus on these areas for proper remedial measures. PPCB was also directed to prepare and place on record the area wise Crop Residue Management Plan. The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas was directed to file report.
The NGT, October 20, 2023 also directed notice to be issued to the Chief Secretary, Punjab and Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board. The next hearing of the case will be on November 8, 2023.