Chandigarh, Oct 19 (PTI) The Confederation of Indian Industry partnered with Indian Oil Corporation to launch project 'Vayu Amrit', a crop residue management initiative, in Punjab's Sangrur on Wednesday.
Crop residue burning should be avoided at all costs as it adversely impacts the environment, Sangrur's Deputy Commissioner Jitendra Jorwal said.
He said farmers now have access to processes and machinery to avoid burning of crop residue.
"We should make Sangrur a model district for zero crop residue burning," said Jorwal while 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 IOC and over 300 farmers, a CII release said.
The farmers at the event shared their experiences and issues and welcomed the effort to help them find viable alternatives to stubble burning.
Varjeet Walia, Additional DC (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.
N Senthil Kumar, Executive Director (Northern Region Pipelines) for Indian Oil Corporation Limited, said, "...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".
Stubble burning is a major cause of air pollution in the northwest, especially Delhi-NCR during winters.
The CII runs a crop residue management programme 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, said the release.
Through the project interventions, stubble burning was reduced by 84 per cent in the intervened lands.
This season the project has been scaled up to 300 villages covering 3 lakh acres of farmland.
Indian Oil has recently partnered with the CII and is supporting the programme in 9 villages of Sangrur covering 7,000 acres of farmland through its Project Vayu.
Under the multi-stakeholder programme, a range of activities are 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, and facilitating the adoption of environmentally friendly ways of crop residue management, it said. PTI SUN HVA