AgencyNew Delhi: Delhi Environment Minister Kailash Gahlot has urged the neighbouring states to stop stubble burning immediately and increase the pace of distribution of machinery among farmers for management of paddy straw. Gahlot raised the issue of stubble burning at a meeting convened by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday to review steps taken to combat air pollution, a source in Delhi’s Environment Department said. Though representatives of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab attended the meeting, Gahlot was the only state minister who took part in it, according to an official in the Union Environment Ministry. “Stubble burning should be stopped immediately by the adjoining states so that people of Delhi do not suffer during winters for no fault of theirs,” the Delhi government source quoted Gahlot as saying. Gahlot also said distribution of machinery to farmers, for in-situ stubble management, should be expedited to ensure that this problem does not recur. “Municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority should also be directed to pave the roads under their jurisdiction to check dust pollution,” the Delhi environment minister said. The Supreme Court had on November 6 ordered the Centre to prepare a comprehensive scheme, in consultation with the states, within three months to wean small and marginal farmers away from stubble burning, which has been identified as a major source of air pollution choking the national capital.
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