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CAUSES OF CROP RESIDUE BURNING IN PUNJAB: AN EVALUATION OF POLICY AND LEGAL MECHANISM

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Agriculture residue burning is an environment and health policy issue at the international, regional, national and state level and is a serious nuisance and a health risk. Aim of this research paper is in regard to environment protection and to by observing the seriousness of the problem and to attract policy makers. This research work try to make some feasible and cost effective implications not only for the state of Punjab, but also all the states, which are facing the problem of crop residue burning. This paper discusses the causes and effects of crop residue burning and the effects of laws in prevention the pollution from crop residue burning. Specifically the work covers the reality of the causes and reasons associated with the problem along with the role of existing statutory provisions and administrative control and management of the problem. Keywords: Administrative Mechanism, Causes of Crop residue burning, Environment Pollution, Statutory Provisions
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   Scholarly Research Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies, Online ISSN 2278-8808, SJIF 2016 = 6.17, www.srjis.com   UGC Approved Sr. No.45269, JULY-AUG 2017, VOL- 4/35 Copyright © 2017, Scholarly Research Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies CAUSES OF CROP RESIDUE BURNING IN PUNJAB: AN EVALUATION OF POLICY AND LEGAL MECHANISM Deepak Kumar, Ph. D.  Associate Professor, Centre for Law, School of Legal Studies & Governance, Central university of Punjab, Bathinda.  Agriculture residue burning is an environment and health policy issue at the international, regional, national and state level and is a serious nuisance and a health risk. Aim of this research paper is in regard to environment protection and to by observing the seriousness of the problem and to attract  policy makers. This research work try to make some feasible and cost effective implications not only  for the state of Punjab, but also all the states, which are facing the problem of crop residue burning. This paper discusses the causes and effects of crop residue burning and the effects of laws in  prevention the pollution from crop residue burning. Specifically the work covers the reality of the causes and reasons associated with the problem along with the role of existing statutory provisions and administrative control and management of the problem. Keywords : Administrative Mechanism, Causes of Crop residue burning, Environment Pollution, Statutory Provisions Introduction  Crop residue burning is a cheap and easy method of crop residue management used by the farmers in India. Farmers of the Punjab also used to take advantage of this method of management. In general it can be defined as the burning of materials that are wholly  produced from growing and harvesting crops or raining animals for the primary purpose of  providing a livelihood. Recently, attention towards agricultural residue and its effects have increased. It leads to emission of trace gases like CH4, CO, N2O, NOx, SO2, and hydrocarbons. Burning of straw also emits large amount of particulates that are composed of a wide variety of organic and inorganic species. One tone straw on burning releases 3 kg  particulate matter, 60 kg CO, 1460 kg CO2, 199 kg ash and 2 kg SO2. These gases and aerosols consisting of carbonaceous matter have an important role to play in the atmospheric chemistry and can affect regional environment, which also has linkages with global climate change (Gupta et al., 2004). Therefore, Crop residue burning is now recognized as an important source of pollutant emissions after Industrial Pollution and affects resulting from crop residue burning now  Scholarly Research Journal's is licensed Based on a work at  www.srjis.com     Dr. Deepak Kumar  (Pg. 6513-6525) 6514   Copyright © 2017, Scholarly Research Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies considered in most negative form in context to life and health loss, economic loss, environment loss, biodiversity loss, depletion of natural resources and more appropriately violation of fundamental right to life guaranteed under the Constitution of India. A number of reasons may be considered responsible for this problem e.g. Technological advancement or using of machineries for crop harvesting, less number availability of laborers, insufficient number of active plants for taking the residue of crops, less support of government institutions and insufficient laws and ineffective executive mechanism are few of the concerns. To find out the strength and reality of all the reasons a survey was conducted in some of the villages of subdivision Talwandi Sabo, District Bathinda Punjab. The survey was done keeping in view the limitation of time and resources and also the sensitivity of the issue. Conceptual framework of the Problem  Punjab, which has been a torchbearer of the green revolution almost five decades ago, seems to be the first state in India which is suffering from the adverse consequences of green revolution as well. As more and more states in the country follow the agricultural practices adopted by Punjab, including crop residue burning consequently increasing the pollution and emissions of various harmful pollutants. Rice, wheat and Cotton are important cropping system in this region of Punjab. It occupies maximum of land and accounts of food  production and economic activities of the farmers. Grain being the economically important  part is collected by the farmers from all three crops and the remaining plant biomass (stubbles, straw etc.) are generally burnt. Even though wheat-straw is a common dry fodder for animals, an estimated 75% of rice straw and 20% of wheat straw are burnt. Where rice and wheat in respective seasons harvested by combines, 20-30 cm high stubbles are left in the field. Also, chaff is thrown and discarded by the combine as it moves forward all over the field. This is expensive to collect and store and transportation again need heavy cost. Farmers do not incorporate straw, stubbles and dry part of plants into the soil because that would require additional cost of labour, irrigation and tillage and hence burn it. Farmers find it easy to burn the biomass and clear their field for next sowing and hence the problem. Also, farmers have a myth that the burning of stubbles would give them more benefits in the form of saving crop from insects. The changing pattern of agriculture and maximum use of machines at the time of harvesting as less numbers of laborers, a very few day time between two crops and many more reasons are associated with the problem of crop residue burning. Therefore there is a need to rethink    Dr. Deepak Kumar  (Pg. 6513-6525) 6515    Copyright © 2017, Scholarly Research Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies on the management issues of the problem including the draft of laws and making of suitable  policies. A large number of statute and policies are in existence but the impact is very low as various reports of International and national level agencies are showing the impact of the problem. Governmental, Non-Governmental Organizationand individuals are working to manage the  problem but the problem is as it is, even the recommendation of the National Green Tribunal to curb on straw burning with the help of satellite- based monitoring remained ineffective. 1   Objectives of the Research This research paper is basically to see the reality of the reasons of the crop residue burning in the area of study. Therefore, this work, tries to find out and scrutinize the reasons why farmers of this region burn crop residue, while it can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes and also to see the reasons for ineffectiveness of policies and administrative measures. Database and Methodology This study is based on analysis of the facts based on the data collected during field survey in various villages of sub-division. Since the matter is deeply concerned with a popular practice  by the farmers, therefore a specific set of questions was prepared to collect data on the causes in issue and opinion of the farmers have also been considered during discourse of this research paper. In this work two surveys have been done in different crop seasons and field survey has covered twenty-five villages in one year in two seasons- wheat season (May - June month) and paddy season (October-November month). The first season has incorporated eleven villages and forty-eight farmers (respondents) and the second season has covered fourteen villages and forty-four farmers (respondents). Discussions and Outcomes of the Research The study analyzes the problem of crop residue burning as it is towards the description of reasons to the problem, to find out the impact of residue burning on the environment and effect on natural resources, directly or indirectly with remarkable evaluation and on the reasons of the problem followed by results on the basis of data analysis. The Paddy and Wheat are the major crops in study area and the reasons behind the crop  pattern are easy water availability, lack of industry to absorb the commercial crops, Minimum 1  Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar. High Pollution Levels from Straw Burning Shows Green Tribunal Orders Were Neglected   available at, https://thewire.in/77776/straw-burning-pollution-green-tribunal/, accessed on 05 march 2016.    Dr. Deepak Kumar  (Pg. 6513-6525) 6516   Copyright © 2017, Scholarly Research Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies Support Price (MSP) and climatic conditions etc. In the months of October, rice crop gets its maturity. October to mid of November, cases of crop residue burning can be seen in this region and similarly, the cases at the time of wheat crop maturity. All this is resulting, environmental pollution, loss in soil fertility, loss of biodiversity, health issues etc. Views on the Problem of Residue Burning Table 1. depicts views of farmers on the direct and indirect losses of the crop residue burning. The major reasons according to farmers of crop residue burning are time and cost factors. Table 1. Views on the Problem of Residue Burning S. No. Views on Problem No. of Respondents Percentage Share 1 Burning is an only solution. 12 13.04 2 Time and Cost Factors are responsible for residue burning 28 30.43 3 Lack of labourers and machinery are the reasons of residue burning 14 15.22 4 Both 1 and 2 12 13.04 5 Both 1 and 3 4 4.35 6 Both 2 and 3 2 2.17 7 all of the above 20 21.74 Total 92 100.00 Source: Author’s Calculations Based on Field Survey.  According to majority of farmers, they have very less time between harvesting of the crop and sowing of the new crop. The residue burning is the only solution to deal with the  problem. In other methods it takes a lot of time to deal with the residue. The cost factor is also a major contributor of the problem. The burning is the cheapest way to deal with the residue. In other methods it needs the expensive machinery and a huge consumption of diesel, which is not economically viable for the farmer. Figure 1. Burning is an only solution. 13% Time and Cost Factors are responsible for residue burning. 31% Lack of labour and machinery are the reasons of residue burning 15% Both 1 and 2 13% Both 1 and 3 4% Both 2 and 3 2% all of the above 22% Views on Problem of crop Residue Burning
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