Every year the quality of air worsens in North India as farmers are forced to burn the paddy crop stubble on their farms due to lack of on-ground support in terms of mechanisation and operators. The farmer cannot be blamed for this as he is helpless, well aware of the ill-affects but handicapped for the availability of operators and equipment to manage the crop stubble.
SIAM and CII have joined hands to demonstrate on-ground implementation of the project in Nabha block of Patiala, Punjab to sensitise and support farmers in adopting alternative stubble management techniques. The two industry bodies have come together, pooling in minds, manpower and money, to undertake a specific programme called ‘Sukh da Saah’ (Breath of Life).
The Punjab Government, through the Department of Agriculture [DoA] and Punjab Pollution Control Board [PPCB], decided to take positive steps to curb this incidence. The Punjab Agriculture University [PAU] worked out certain innovative solutions to ensure the same.
CII has been engaging with various stakeholders to research, identify and implement models and approaches to find optimal solutions for air pollution in North India, especially caused due to farm residue burning in Punjab. Last year, CII, in partnership with NITI Aayog, anchored a policy research initiative ‘Cleaner Air Better Life’ with the objective of deriving an in-depth understanding of the issue. The report was launched by Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog in Feb 2018. Based on the findings of the report, CII, through CII Foundation is now implementing the on-ground demonstrative project in select villages of Ludhiana and Patiala districts in Punjab.
The on-ground implementation will be done by CII Foundation with support from SAFE [Society of Automotive Fitness and Environment – a SIAM initiative].
“This is really a milestone in Indian industry with two of the country’s premier industry bodies collaborating, with utmost sincerity and dedication, on a project to benefit one of the foundations of our nation and economy, the farmers. For us at SIAM it is a definitive way of how the automobile industry continues to build the nation, responsibly,” said Rajan Wadhera, President of SIAM.
“CII has been extensively working with various stakeholders to do an in-depth research on the complex problem of air pollution; implementing pilot projects by adopting relevant technology and delivery models, and proposing enabling policy to scale up the optimal solution across India,” said Seema Arora, Deputy Director General, CII and CEO, CII Foundation.