Air quality in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) has been a prime concern for its severe health impact on general public, especially the children and senior citizens. Over past couple of years, there have been episodic incidents of air quality dipping to alarming levels across Delhi-NCR.
CII-NITI Aayog ‘Cleaner Air Better Life’ initiative aims to bring together all relevant stakeholders for designing a set of solutions to the identified sources of air pollution. The farm burning, specific to the paddy-wheat cultivation cycle in the rural regions of Northern and North-Westerns states of India, has been identified as a major source of air pollution. It not only affects the air-quality in rural areas but also causes an episodic rise in air-pollution during October and November in Delhi-NCR.
Under this initiative, a dedicated task force on biomass management was constituted by NITI Aayog with Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change as convenor and eminent experts as members. This report is prepared after due consultation with all relevant stakeholders and it consists of identified solutions to address farm waste burning. In the long-run, recommended action would induce behavioural change in the farmers’ community through adoption of in-situ and ex-situ options to utilise the crop residue.
The report of Task Force on Biomass Management highlights an inclusive approach to the initiative and puts forth a recommended action plan covering the different aspects of biomass management. It was released by Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog on 26 February 2018 in New Delhi.