Right to burn. – Will it become a Fundamental Right?

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If the Constituent Assembly was still working today they would append the Right to Burn to the Constitution after seeing the situation of the people in northern India. Punjab, relatively small in size grows about 40 percent of the wheat produced in India and 20 percent of the rice. Thanks to the green revolution which helped the farmers in the land of five rivers to overcome poverty and lead a happy life. With the NGT ban on crop burning the farmers have gone into hopeless situation, farming has become a loss making investment. Around 70% of the people in Punjab works in agriculture based sectors.

What’s this stubble burning all about..?

Crop residue is usually set afire due to and short time gap between summer and winter crops(rice and wheat), also the costs are very high to rent the machines to clear subtle. besides lack of incentives and equipment to manually cut down the stubble. A farmer would require at least 10 labourers to clear a one-acre farm. It’s cheaper to become an arson, as dry grass instantly goes up in flames and within a couple of hours, carbon is all that remains. The fires release several types of particles and gases into the atmosphere, including smog-forming carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. The air drifts southwards and exacerbates air pollution in Delhi-NCR pushing the city air quality levels to maximum toxic. In its order, the National Green Tribunal fixed a penalty for burning paddy residue. The fine for small land owners with less than two acres indulging in crop burning is ₹2,500. For landowners holding land over two acres but less than five acres, it is ₹5,000. And those with over five acres it is up ₹15,000 for every instance of crop burning.

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The government should come forward to make the alternative arrangements and provide incentives to reduce the crop burning, also to raise awareness among the farmers to change the crop patterns.

 

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