The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change on Friday said the total paddy area in the states of Punjab, Haryana, and eight National Capital Region (NCR) districts of Uttar Pradesh had come down by 7.72 per cent this year as compared to the last year.
The ministry, in a press release, said, "The paddy areas have come down by 7.72 per cent during the current year as compared to the last year." "Total paddy straw generation from the non-basmati variety is likely to be reduced by 12.42 per cent during the current year as compared to the previous year," the ministry added.
Both the Central and the state governments of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh have been taking measures to diversify crops as well as to reduce the use of PUSA-44 variety of paddy.
The burning of paddy straw from the non-basmati variety of crops is the prime concern. Crop diversification and moving away from PUSA-44 variety with short duration high- yielding varieties are part of the framework and action plan for the control of stubble burning.
As per data received from the governments of Haryana, Punjab, and UP, the total amount of paddy straw generated will come down this year.
The total quantity of straw generated by the respective states was 28.4 million tonne in 2020, which is now expected to come down to 26.21 million tonne in 2021. The decrease in non-basmati variety is expected to be even higher.
As per the recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of the Government of India, Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) had actively pursued with the state governments for the promotion of the same.
Apart from this, crop diversification programmes are also being implemented in the states of Punjab and Haryana along with the NCR districts of UP to divert the area of water-guzzling paddy to alternate crops.