Every October, farmers in Punjab harvest their paddy crop and prepare their fields for wheat. To do this, many resort to a practice that has been the focus of intense debate for several years: the burning of paddy stubble. The method has been criticised for contributing to the immense air pollution of nearby areas, particularly Delhi and the National Capital Region.
This year, there is renewed interest in the issue. This is because the Aam Aadmi Party is in power in Punjab, after years of ruling Delhi and criticising Punjab's government for its failure to tackle the problem.
For Common Ground, Vaishnavi Rathore travelled to five villages in Punjab's Sangrur district to understand how the problem of stubble burning is intricately linked to the state's agricultural history. She spoke to farmers, agricultural officials, sellers of farming machines and others to learn why so many efforts to end stubble burning have failed, and why, so far, farmers remain unconvinced about the efficacy of solutions that the Aam Aadmi Party government has tried to implement.
You can read the story here.
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