India, Aug. 14 -- Since 2017, there has been about 50% reduction in agricultural area where crop residue is burnt in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi every October, according to satellite data collated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

There has also been about 15% reduction in the number of crop-residue burning events, ICAR director general Trilochan Mohapatra said on Tuesday.

Mohapatra said this was mainly because more farmers have been opting for mechanised technology to dispose of crop residue, such as the Happy-Seeder/zero-tillage technology that cuts paddy straw, sows wheat in the soil and puts straw over the sown area, making it act like mulch.

In 2018, the Centre had launched a Rs.1,150 crore scheme to sub...