Study finds stubble burning cost India $30 billion on annual health bills 

Team Suno Neta Wednesday 6th of March 2019 10:23 AM
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A farmer burning crop residue in Punjab.

New Delhi: Scientists, in a study released on Monday, have estimated that the burning of crop residue across India’s northern states triggers or exacerbate acute respiratory illnesses, which lead to annual economic losses of $30 billion (₹210,000 crore) – a figure more than three times the Centre’s health budget.

The study also estimated that the economic losses from exposure to air pollution linked to firecracker burning at around $7 billion or ₹50,000 crore a year.

According to scientists with the International Food Policy Research Institute in India and the United States, their analyses is the first to assess the health and economic costs of crop residue burning, which shows that living in areas with intense crop residue burning, along with exhaust from motor vehicles and firecrackers are the leading risk factors for respiratory illnesses across northern states and further raises the risk by three times.

The study also indicated that crop burning increased in Haryana lead to worsened respiratory health. People living in districts with more than 100 fires a day had the highest – three-fold – increased risk of experiencing acute respiratory illnesses or their exacerbations timed with burning.

Environmental policymakers recognized the contributions of crop residue burning to air pollution long back and multiple government agencies have initiated efforts to encourage farmers to adopt alternative residue disposal practices, which is the traditional method of clearing it by hand.




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