State Level Expert Consultation 2017 in Punjab



Centers for International Projects Trust organised State Level Expert Consultation 2017 on 3rd March 2017 in Chandigarh. This consultation was aimed at discussing the emerging issues of Water–Energy–Agriculture (WEALS) Nexus and Crop Residue Burning in Punjab with the state level government officials, industry experts, policy makers, scientists and researchers.
After Dr Kamal Vatta, Director of CIPT, welcomed the experts participating in the workshop, Mr. Suresh Kumar contextualized the inter-linkages of water, energy and agriculture sectors in Punjab and also raised the crucial issue of crop residue burning. He mentioned that though the issues of inter-relationships between water, energy and agriculture and also the effects within and between different sectors of economy are well known amongst the policy makers and most of other stakeholders, a scientific approach of understanding the nexus and using it for future policy planning is urgently required. He called for a critical review of the WEALS model being developed by CIPT for Punjab. He also urged for serious deliberations to explore a viable package of solutions for the problem of straw burning in Punjab.
The consultation event was attended by Dr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Commissioner Agriculture, scientists of Punjab Agricultural University and several representatives from Department of Agriculture, Central Ground Water Board, Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Punjab Pollution Control Board, NABARD, Punjab State Council for Science & Technology, BISA-CIMMYT India, WWF India, Sonalika CSR Division and also farmer cooperatives.
There was a valuable discussion on the assumptions of the WEALS model and the solutions for crop residue burning in Punjab. CIPT through its WEALS model has attempted to estimate the future fall in water table in Punjab along with a significant increase in total energy consumption in Punjab as well as that in the agriculture sector. The energy subsidies in Punjab are also expected to increase by 4-5 times by 2025, as per the model.
Dr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Commissioner Agriculture summed up the issues concerning crop residue burning and the potential solutions to address this challenge.
CIPT is bringing out separate reports on Water-Energy-Agriculture Nexus in Punjab and Crop Residue Burning in Punjab in near future considering all the suggestions received in the Consultation.