NGT relaxes 10-year-old diesel vehicles ban in Delhi-NCR

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The tribunal had taken exception to the fact that even after more than two years, nothing substantial has been done with regard to stubble burning.

Following the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), state government and district administration has tightened strictures against stubble burning, and booked charges against farmers, who are not following orders.

The bench observed that farmers must understand that without their assistance, there is no solution to this problem, which is severely affecting the air quality.

Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general Secretary of BKU Ugrahan, said: "We have just 20 days before sowing wheat to manage paddy stubble and in this period either government provides us free machinery or incentive or burning is the only way out to clear the field for sowing wheat".

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The government has failed to comply with a 21-year-old direction of the Supreme Court to shift manufacturing units and polluting units from non-confirming areas of Delhi, he said, adding: "On the contrary, more and more manufacturing units are coming up in non-confirming areas".

The NGT also sent notice to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), seeking details regarding the claims that it showed interest in buying stubble from the farmers in states next to Delhi to use the residue as fuel. He said that the farmers were also expecting that the government should chip in Rs 200 per quintal as compensation for the farmers for managing crop residue. How could farmers afford such an expenditure when they are already are under financial distress.

Summary: He said in the southern states, where there was no wheat cultivation and wheat stubble was not available, dairy farmers used paddy stubble as animal fodder. "When the government is not cooperating with us, we are compelled to burn stubble".

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