Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB)chairman Ravinder Singh has expressed concern over the paddy straw burning issue and the smog generated from it engulfing the entire state.
He divulged that the total production of paddy and wheat straw is estimated at nearly 21 million tonnes and 17 million tonnes respectively and said that if the problem of stubble burning is not controlled, it will take years to take care of such a huge production of straw.
The straw reaper machine manufactured by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) experts is very popular in the state and there is a need to popularise "Happy Seeder" technology among the farming community for the straw management, Singh said.
Interacting with UNI yesterday, the PPCB chairman said that he had recently visited the PAU and held a detailed discussion with senior officers of the university on paddy straw burning issue, its impact on eco-system and effective measures to control it.
The PAU vice chancellor, according to Singh, informed him that varsity is making a lot of efforts to check the practice of stubble burning by the farmers in Punjab.
The university has come up with the technology of producing biogas from the straw and is now taking special steps on the development of dwarf and short duration varieties of paddy, he said.
Besides, vermi composing using paddy stubble and "bailing" for the easy collection of paddy straw bales for the transportation are some of the technologies recommended by the varsity experts, he added.