Bhopal: After Covid, choking smog adds to worries

BHOPAL: The battle against Covid-19 is far from over and now stubble burning is suffocating the people living on the capital city outskirts. Stubble burning on agricultural fields nearing the residential colonies has deteriorated the air quality in the area. The people who have recovered from the Corona infection and those have respiratory issues are worried that the smog can aggravate their condition.  In these pandemic times, burning of stubble is putting the lives of many people at risk. Residential colonies along the entire stretch of Hoshangabad Road, Kolar, Bhanpur are worst affected.  Besides, the stubble burning is accountable for the air pollution around Katara Hills, Barrai, Bagsewania, Jathkhedi, Laharpur and areas adjoining All India  Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS). Poor air quality worsen the health condition of people suffering from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues.

Uma Shankar Tiwari, social activist in Katara Hills, said stubble burning is a major cause of concern for the people living near agriculture fields on the city’s outskirts.

“Farmers are burning crop residue which is a key contributor in rising pollution in the areas. Residential colonies along the entire stretch of Hoshangabad road are facing the brunt of stubble burning. We have raised the issue with officials but so far nothing has been done in this regard,” said the activist.   

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has already asked Madhya Pradesh along with governments of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and other states about the arrangements made for preventing stubble burning which is a source of pollution in their region.

The apex court has also asked the states concerned to apprise it of the instances of stubble burning in previous year, its locations and also how many farmers were responsible so that ‘special arrangements’ could be made in advance for those areas. The apex court passed the order while hearing the pollution matter in which it is dealing with several aspects, including that of stubble burning.

Farmers engaging in stubble burning to face action: SDM

SDM Rajesh Gupta said action will be taken against farmers engaging in stubble burning. “Even FIR has been lodged against people found burning stubbles in paddy fields after the harvest. The administration has advised and also warned against burning farm residues on the field, however, they are still continuing with it. Instead of burning stubble, the farmers should use it as animal fodder.

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