The Indian government created a new plan to decrease the amount of pollution and smog that usually occurs in November and lasts throughout winter. This new plan prevents farmers from burning stubble, or rice straw, left over from growing rice in order to switch to wheat within a month (WP). The Indian government is trying to cut down stubble burning by 70 percent to decrease the toxic smog that engulfs cities such as New Delhi (Reuters). For India’s last two Novembers, particle pollution was more than 30 times the limit that was established by the World Health Organization (WP).
Affected farmers are denouncing the ban. Some farmers, led by union leaders, are defying the government by videoing themselves burning stubble and posting it online (IE). Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said, “My sympathies are with the farmers, but law is law and the law must take its course” (NDTV). The government is providing subsides for farming equipment that would replace stubble burning and is educating farmers about the negative effects of stubble burning (Reuters).
Tags: India, pollution, stubble burning, Rice farmers