19 October 2022, Sangrur, Punjab:
The CII partnered with Indian Oil Corporation to launch Project Vayu Amrit, a crop residue management initiative, in Sangrur today.
“Crop residue burning should be avoided at all costs not only for us but for future generations as well. Farmers now have access to processes and machinery to avoid burning. We should make Sangrur a model district for zero crop residue burning” said Mr Jitendra Jorwal, IAS, DC, Sangrur. He was speaking at the launch of the CII and Indian Oil Corporation-supported Crop Residue Management Initiative, Project Vayu Amrit, in Village Nagri in Sangrur. The event was attended by senior officials from the Government and Indian Oil Corporation and over 300 farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Varjeet Walia, IAS, ADC (Development), Sangrur said that the crop residue management initiative is “an excellent endeavour” to improve the quality of air in the region. He spoke to farmers in Malerkotla who said that the crop residue management initiative is beneficial. He urged all farmers to participate and avoid crop residue burning.
“At NRPL our business model is intertwined with the farming community and landowners because our pipelines in these districts run beneath the farmlands which makes us very sensitive to the challenges of farmers vis-a-vis stubble burning which causes air pollution. We are happy to partner with the CII to provide alternatives. This is the beginning, and I am sure in times to come this effort will become a model for others,” said Mr N Senthil Kumar, ED, NRPL, Indian Oil Corporation.
Stubble burning is a major cause of air pollution in the northwest, especially Delhi-NCR, at the onset of winter. The CII runs a crop residue management program in Punjab and Haryana to mitigate stubble burning to reduce air pollution. The project was operational in 226 villages covering 2 lakh acres of farmland last season. Through the project interventions, stubble burning was reduced by 84% in the intervened lands. This season the project has been scaled up to 300 villages covering 3 lakh acres of farmland. IndianOil has recently partnered with the CII and is supporting the program in 9 villages of Sangrur covering 7000 acres of farmland through its Project Vayu.
Under the multi-stakeholder program, a range of activities is being undertaken to promote viable and environmentally friendly alternatives to stubble burning. These include creating awareness about the harmful effects of stubble burning, providing farmers with appropriate machinery and technical training to manage stubble, to facilitate the adoption of environmentally friendly ways of crop residue management.
Farmers at the event shared their experiences and issues and welcomed the effort to help them find viable alternatives to stubble burning.
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