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With Delhi reeling under pollution, the government today told Lok Sabha that enforcement of ban on paddy stubble burning in farmlands of Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh has not been fully implemented. However, there is no conclusive study which says that burning of paddy straw crop residue "would always" impact quality of air in states like Delhi and Rajasthan, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in a written reply. "Available satellite images indicate that the enforcement of ban on stubble burning in farmlands of Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh has not been fully implemented and there has been significant level of stubble burning. "The incidents of stubble burning increase during the post harvesting period as farmers prepare their fields for next sowing season," he said. Dave said as per the report of IIT Kanpur, the back trajectory analyses suggest that the Crop Residue Burning and other biomass emissions may be transported to Delhi from the sources upwind of Delhi. "There is no conclusive study available that burning of paddy straw crop residue in the states like Punjab and Haryana would always impact quality of air in the states/UT like Rajasthan, Delhi etc," MoS for Environment, Forest & Climate Change said. The Minister said burning of stubble has been banned in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. He said Delhi High Court has assigned the responsibility of prevention of stubble burning and biomass on the chief secretaries of the concerned state governments and the states have initiated steps for compliance. The union government has been monitoring various preventive measures to curb the burning of paddy stubble or crops residue and check the pollution level in Delhi and NCR at regular intervals, Dave said. While meetings of Environment Minister Dave with state environment ministers were held on many occasions, four secretary-level meetings have also been organised. Noting that implementation of air pollution control measures is an on-going process, he said violations relating to stubble burning have been reported from states and they have been asked to enforce the ban relating to burning of stubble during various review meetings. CPCB has issued comprehensive directions including control of stubble burning under Section 18(1)(b) of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 to NCR states for prohibiting or restricting the open burning of straw.
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