Stubble burning can easily be avoided by using it to feed cattle

by Team Conscious Carma

Govt should take measures to transport stubble to gaushalas

Punjab Government’s lack of interest in tackling Stubble burning is putting the lives of lakhs in Delhi NCR in danger.  Stubble, which is one of the main food of cattle, can easily be given away to the gaushalas to sort the issue.

Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is one of the reasons behind alarming spike in air pollution in the national capital in October and November. As the window for rabi crop wheat is very short after paddy harvest, farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue for sowing of the next crop.

“The same “parali” which is choking Delhi NCR with hazardous levels of pollution is used to feed cattle. As an effort to help curb pollution, we are stocking parali from Punjab for our Gaushalas across the country, with 50,000 BSF-rescued cattle in place, we have a daily requirement of 250 tons of dry fodder across shelters. We have provided the farmer a bale machine and are procuring parali (which is baled, cut, and packed) at Rs. 3 per kg to meet our needs,” says Shreya Aggarwal, Volunteer with Delhi based NGO Dhyan Foundation.

Dhyan Foundation is the only NGO who is rehabilitating all the cattle which are being rescued by the Border Security Force (BSF) from being smuggled across the Border. BSF has acknowledged the humongous support being provided by the Dhyan Foundation for which no other NGO came forward. 

“At present our gaushalas have more than 50,000 catlle and out of which 99% are unproductive.  We are solely run by the volunteers and are always looking at options to buy cattle feed at nominal prices for our gaushalas”. She added.

Is it too big a task for the government to buy all the stubble and send it out to gaushalas? They have all the means to do this, but alas, they are busy in the blame game.

According to a research by Dr. Arvind Kumar, Chairman of Institute of Chest Surgery, Medanta, report, one out of every three school children in Delhi has asthma and airflow obstruction. Shutting schools for a few days is not the solution, cleaning the air is the need of the hour. The government should seriously consider providing solutions to farmers for the stubble. There are alternatives available but the lack of government initiation is playing havoc on the health of its citzens.

Smoke form Stubble burning accounted for 25 per cent of the PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on Nov 3rd, according to a numerical model-based system developed by the Pune based Indian Institute of tropical Meteorology.

Delhi is reeling under the AQI level crossing 400 since past two days, which is more than 80 times the healthy limit set by World Health Organisation (WHO) . The festive season is round the corner, however the festive spirit is dampened. The health is at stake, the business is suffering, the economy is suffering and the poor cattle remains unfed, the issues are too many and the solution is simple.

It’s important for the government to take proactive measures to address this issue, such as implementing policies to support the transportation of stubble to gaushalas and providing incentives for farmers to adopt alternative practices.

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