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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Smoke from stubble burning now threatens motorists on NH

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, May 07, 2013
First Published: 21:01 IST(7/5/2013) | Last Updated: 11:04 IST(8/5/2013)

There seems to be no end to the menace of stubble burning in district. It became all the more worse on Tuesday as a pall of smoke engulfed the National Highway 1 (Amritsar-Attari road), putting motorists at risk.

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Flames were seen in fields and on the edges of the road along the NH. Even the toll plaza was not clearly visible due to dense smoke.

Even though the district administration has issued several warnings against stubble burning and has taken stringent measures, nothing seems to be working as the menace continues to grow every year.

Amritsar has already seen tragic incidents caused due to stubble burning in the past, as in one case four children were killed after the autorickshaw they were travelling in drove into a field on fire.

Last year, fire tenders were rushed after flames in the fields adjoining the airport started threatening the runway. There have been instances where the fire was controlled immediately after it spread dangerously in fields of Guru Nanak Dev University and near the boundary wall of a school. No lesson has been learnt from the past incidents and the menace continues unchecked.

It is not only during the day time but stubble burning is common along roads at night as well.

When contacted, Amritsar deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said, "We have been educating farmers for long and have also conducted seminars to highlight the hazards of stubble burning. Definitely, this is a serious issue and there is a need to have stringent laws to curb the menace."

The administration in the past had also got registered cases against those who burn crop residue in fields.

The DC, however, said only strict law will help check the practice. As it involves a large number of people, FIRs cannot be registered against all of them, he added.

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