Is stubble burning just a smokescreen? There is much more to the poor air quality in the Indo-Gangetic Plain than meets the eye.

The burning of farm residue (stubble burning) causes ripples in the media annually when it chokes the national capital. But there’s more to deteriorating air quality in the Indo-Gangetic Plain than just stubble burning. In fact, it’s a story of missed opportunities.

In December, CSTEP organised ‘Vision: Clean Skies for Punjab’ in Chandigarh to bring together policymakers, industry leaders, and activists to discuss solutions on the ground to improve the air quality in Punjab.

Speaking at the event, Shri Rana Gurjeet Singh, Cabinet Minister, Government for Punjab stressed the need for government departments to align their vision and find comprehensive solutions to improve the state’s air quality. “We will be able to convince farmers to stop burning stubble only if we present them with alternative solutions. Stubble burning is only part of the problem. Industry, agricultural universities, pollution control boards, and the government need to work together to find holistic solutions to manage the issue,” he said.

Mr Krunesh Garg, Member Secretary, Punjab Pollution Control Board, observed that there are other equally grave underlying causes for poor air quality including vehicular and industrial pollution.

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