New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan today said all states involved in stubble burning have been told to take firm action to curb it by the next season as part of efforts to combat air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region.

There should be a judicious balance between economic development and environmental protection, Vardhan said while addressing hundreds of school children, who had come to his residence for a limited exhibition, showcasing advancements in science and technology in India.

Stressing that children should be ambassadors of environmental protection, the minister said that the hazard of climate change and global warming was turning into a reality.

People should take conscious efforts in mitigating stress on environment and climate.

On the issue of air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region, Vardhan said that all states involved in stubble burning have been told to take firm action to curb it by the next season.

He said that India’s progress in the field of science and technology is “exponential” and science can address most of the problems the society is facing now.

Vardhan said that while the role of the government is to prepare a roadmap for environmental protection, adherence to the rules and regulations is the primary responsibility of the stakeholders.

He has been interacting with thousands of school children to generate scientific temperament among them “As developmental efforts need to be sustained, its impact on climate should be mitigated through a series of efforts, including environment-friendly lifestyle,” he said.

The environment ministry has drawn up a national campaign to develop around some 500 simple lifestyle habits that can be easily adopted, in an effort to sensitise the hazards of climate and global warming.

The campaign named “Green Good Deeds” can have a cascading effect, if everyone adopts even one deed a day.

During the last one month, the ministry has invited thousands of children from various schools to enlist their support to the campaign.

“Every citizen should become a ‘Green Volunteer’ so that we could relay the environment we inherited from our ancestors to the generation that is yet to take birth. That is our moral responsibility,” the minister said.

Noting that his government is undertaking several good deeds including “Green Good Deeds”, Vardhan pointed out that there has been intervention from the highest political level to bring down the level of air pollution in Delhi and its surrounding areas, which has become an international subject of discussion.

“All states involved in stubble burning have been told that they need to take firm measures to curb it by the next season. In fact, even budgetary allocations were made to support the efforts of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT of Delhi to address air pollution.

“The government has also decided to subsidise machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue to prevent burning of stubble in the next winter,” he pointed out.

“Unless there is public involvement and commitment, no such drive can be taken to its logical conclusion. Like Corporate Social Responsibility, it is the Green Social Responsibility of every citizen to maintain environment,”Vardhan said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.