The Indian government’s plan to spend $230 million over two years to prevent crop residue burning is below the spending estimates of its policy advisors for the task and may do little to cut the air pollution that envelops the capital region of Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet is expected to sign off on the plan as early as this month, three senior government officials involved in the talks told Reuters.
The planned expenditure is far less than the $600 million per year that NITI Aayog, a government policy advisory group, estimated last November needed to be spent to prevent farmers from burning the crop waste left over after harvesting. It was not clear if the amount was recommended to the government.
Crop stubble burning caused one-quarter of the air pollution that blanketed Delhi in November, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change told parliament last week. The particles from the stubble burning combine with industrial pollution, vehicle exhaust and dust to cover the region every year as winter approaches and wind speeds drop. Read More…