Bathinda: The Department of Environmental Science and Technology at Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (CUPB) organized a Webinar on “Crop Residue Management with special emphasis on stubble burning” under the patronage of Vice-Chancellor Prof. Raghavendra P. Tiwari. The keynote speaker of this programme was Punjab Pollution Control Board Chairman Prof. S.S. Marwaha, Faculty, scholars, and students from different institutions participated in this webinar.
The programme commenced with the welcome address by Dr. Sunil Mittal, Associate Dean & HoD, Dept. of Environmental Science. where he introduced the keynote speaker to the participants.
Keynote Speaker Prof. S.S. Marwaha in his address shared the major causes of crop residue burning such as short time duration between the harvesting of Paddy Crop and sowing of Wheat Crop, mechanised farming leads to large volumes of rice residue etc. He highlighted that the pollution caused due to stubble burning increases the air pollution level from 3 to 5 times which becomes the cause of many health problems such as skin & eye irritation, lungs & heart diseases etc. He also shared the steps taken by the government to deal with the challenge crop residue management and stated that Punjab Energy Development Agency has commissioned 11 Biomass Power Projects in various districts of Punjab such as Muktsar, Fazilka, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Mansa, Moga, Faridkot, Firozpur etc, to support nearby farmers. He added PPCB along with other agencies has developed bacterial & fungal inoculums for the easy degradation of rice residue within 2 to 4 weeks which will be helpful in managing this issue. He concluded his talk by appealing people from academia to spread awareness about available alternatives for crop residue management techniques.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Raghavendra P. Tiwari mentioned that in earlier times, the residue of crops such as rice straw was considered useful & was effectively utilised in cattle feed, composting, thatching, poultry, mushroom cultivation and manufacturing products such as paper, packaging material, mats, baskets, ropes etc. He added, with the modernisation, the usage of rice straw has decreased and it is considered as a waste product to be disposed of through stubble burning process. He encouraged scientists and researchers to unite together and find out an innovative solution for effective utilisation of crop residues to increase the income of farmers.
Prof. V.K. Garg, Dean Student Welfare, complimented the keynote speaker for delivering a scholarly talk. He stated that the university has installed a continuous ambient air quality monitoring station and data derived from this system is being shared with various government agencies. He informed that the faculty of CUPB is continuously working on various research projects to find out an innovative solution to such issues and assured that our team will come up with a series of interactive sessions in future to spread awareness on crop residue management in our community.
Towards the end of the programme, Dr. Yogalakshmi KN delivered the vote of thanks.