Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, he said, ”It is unfortunate the maximum incidents of stubble burning have taken place in Sangrur district in Punjab, which is the home district of chief minister Bhagwant Mann.” Yadav said the Centre has provided special grants to state governments to stop farmers from not burning stubble in their fields and the Centre has provided machines and other measures.
”I can say that the progress seen in stopping stubble burning in Haryana and other states, the same progress has not been made in Punjab. I would say that if the measures provided by the Centre were put to use, then Punjab would have also seen the same progress in stopping stubble burning as seen in other states,” he told the members.
Yadav said the Centre has released a fund of Rs 2,440 crore for stopping such stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
He also informed the house that the Centre has earmarked a sum of Rs 19,711 crore for tackling air pollution problem in the country.
To a question on whether the Centre would review the air pollution law of 1981 and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in 2009 in light of the growing evidence about the impact of air pollution, Yadav said the Centre has identified 131 cities across the country for reducing pollution and standards have been set there.
There has been a satisfactory improvement in air pollution in these cities, he said.
”Some municipal corporations in these cities which have done good work have also been awarded in this regard,” the minister said.
In response to another question on considering making it mandatory to supply glass or recyclable bottles, he said the Centre has banned single-use plastic across the country and has requested State authorities to also aid in implementing this.