Special report on implementation of Hon’ble Supreme Court directions on stubble burning before the onset of the season 2020

Every winter, the large-scale burning of crop residues from paddy crop in October-November in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh contributes significantly to the region’s air pollution challenge. On 28.2.2020, the Hon’ble Supreme Court directed that the Union and state governments take strong measures to ensure that stubble burning is stopped as it has serious adverse health impacts on local communities and on people living in the region. The action plan directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court was based on the affidavit dated 26.2.2020 filed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. EPCA has reviewed the implementation of the action plan with the Union and state governments in its virtual meetings convened as of July 2020. As early stubble burning has been noted through satellite imagery, EPCA has written to state chief secretaries of the need to take urgent action for compliance with the directions of the Hon’ble Court. This report gives the status of implementation and the further directions which the Hon’ble Supreme Court may consider in this urgent matter.