Unintended Consequences of Indian Groundwater Preservation Law on Crop Residue Burning

10 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2022

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Abstract

This paper examines the unintended consequences of a policy aimed at improving the groundwater level on crop residue burning in India. The Preservation of Subsoil Water Act, 2009 implemented in two Indian states bans the transplantation of paddy before mid-June to preserve groundwater. Theoretically, this leaves a short window of time for clearing the field before the next crop and thus increases the likelihood of farmers adopting time saving methods like crop residue burning. Using a difference-in differences framework we find that the ban results in both delay and an increase in crop residue burning in the winter months.

Keywords: Crop Residue Burning, Groundwater, Water Policy, Waste Management, Air Pollution, India

Suggested Citation

Agarwala, Meghna and Bhattacharjee, Shampa and Dasgupta, Aparajita, Unintended Consequences of Indian Groundwater Preservation Law on Crop Residue Burning. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4015063 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4015063

Meghna Agarwala

Ashoka University ( email )

University Campus, Plot #2,
Rajiv Gandhi Education City
Kundli, 131028
India

Shampa Bhattacharjee

Shiv Nadar University ( email )

Aparajita Dasgupta (Contact Author)

Ashoka University ( email )

University Campus, Plot #2,
Rajiv Gandhi Education City
Kundli, Haryana 131028
India

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