revised action plan on stubble burning in Punjab

National Green Tribunal: In a suo motu application against stubble burning in the State of Punjab, the three-member bench of Prakash Shrivastava (Chairperson) Sudhir Agarwal, (Judicial Member) Dr. A. Senthil Vel (Expert Member) noted that the action plan by the State was bereft of definitive time schedule, proper linkages/ manifest system between ex- in situ management, hence, the Tribunal called for a revised action plan on stubble burning.


The Tribunal took suo motu cognizance of the matter on 20-10-2023 considering the issue of stubble burning in Punjab which was aggravating the problem of air pollution in NCT and surrounding areas. The Tribunal had noted that the State had witnessed 656 farm fire incidents. Considering the seriousness of the problem, the Tribunal issued certain directions. The Tribunal noted that cumulative number of farm fire incidents reported as per ISRO protocol in the State were 33,719 and that adequate action was not taken.

The Tribunal had directed Punjab and Haryana to prepare a comprehensive plan and remedial action for controlling the problem in 2024. Thus, the Tribunal directed both the States to prepare a time bound action plan disclosing phase-wise proposed action from 01-01-2024 to 01-09-2024 which may include various preventive steps for the next year and the accountable authorities for the same.


The Tribunal noted that an action plan was filed by the State of Punjab which fixes the roles and responsibilities of the various departments. The Tribunal found the Action Plan to be bereft of many important aspects and was an expression of routine exercise which State Departments are otherwise required to do. It lacked a definitive time schedule, proper linkages/ manifest system between ex- in situ management.

The Tribunal pointed out that one of the main well-known reasons for stubble burning is that the farmers get a very small window period between reaping the harvest and sowing, which forces the farmers to burn the stubble which is left in the ground after harvesting. Therefore, the Tribunal said that there is an immediate requirement to handle the stubble and its removal at the earliest so that the farmers do not resort to stubble burning for cleaning the field.

Thus, the Tribunal directed that the Action Plan to have the following components with time frame and backed up with required budgetary support:

  1. Assessment- Assessment of the agriculture farm area in the entire State and the extent of paddy, wheat and other cultivations undertaken by the farmer by August — September (every year) to ascertain the extent of stubble likely to be generated during harvest. The assessment can be carried out using satellite images, drone survey, physical mapping, etc. Each Farming land – Large, Medium or Small/ Marginal category be given UID and further linking of them with respective receiver for Bailing and onward movement to Power Plant, Industry, Brick kiln or other be done.

  2. Mechanical removal of stubble- The Government agencies may mobilize adequate number of mechanical stubble removers immediately after the harvest. For this purpose, mechanical removers designed to cater to large, medium and small farms can be provided. Any other mechanism that is suitable for removing the stubble may be adopted. Requirement of Crop Residue Management Machinery (CRMM) needs to be identified, arranged and tied up for each Block and monitoring be done at further sub – block level.

  3. Processing of stubble- Agencies can be assigned for taking care of stubble for the purpose of in situ remediation or ex situ processing. For management of straw during crucial periods, Power plants, kiln operators, Industries be identified, and each block be accordingly linked.

  4. Monitoring and surveillance- A stringent monitoring surveillance and enforcement mechanism which may involve interdepartmental coordination along with the police force should be put in place by the Government. Stringent action and penalties should be imposed on the violators. Data base of such violations should be maintained.

  5. Hotspot- The hotspot identified by the Government, vulnerable to stubble burning, should be monitored and stringent enforcement mechanism be stipulated.

  6. Analysis- Periodical analysis of air quality at appropriate intervals should be undertaken at identified areas, especially during the harvesting seasons and post harvesting. An adequate number of ambient air quality monitoring stations should be installed at suitable locations, especially at the hotspots.

[In Re News Item titled “Pollution takes a front seat as stubble fires spike in Punjab” appearing in Hindu dated 06-10-2023, 2024 SCC OnLine NGT 93, Order dated: 19-01-2024]

Must Watch

maintenance to second wife

bail in false pretext of marriage

right to procreate of convict

Criminology, Penology and Victimology book release

One comment

  • Climate change is now becoming the vast level challengable event.
    Through by some sensible relating to the alternative substitutions, remedial
    solutions we can easily solve this worldwide problem. How?
    About this i shall mail a text that which
    is containing 18 steps.

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.