Notwithstanding the government’s ban on burning of paddy stubble, the practice continues unabated, causing serious threat to human health and soil fertility.
Respiratory issues and allergies are common complaints due to the burning of paddy stubble which leads to smog.Smoke from the burnt paddy stubble has covered the sky in most parts of the district, reducing visibility on highways and causing respiratory problems.
Despite several steps taken by the district administration to stop farmers from burning paddy stubble, the practice is still carried out at every village in the district.Training camps are being organised by the district administration and the government has also introduced happy seeders for wheat sowing but farmers seem unwilling to adopt the new techniques.
It may be recalled that the gover nment has of ficially banned the burning of paddy straw under the Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, but farmers are not taking the ban seriously in the absence of strict action by the pollution control authorities. When contacted, Sangrur deputy commissioner Arshdeep Singh Thind said, “I issued instructions on Tuesday to all the SDMs and the Sangrur SSP to take strict action against the violators.”
However, blaming the government, farmers said they were forced to take the step as they had no other alternative to get rid of the heaps of stubble which were about 15-18 quintal per acre.
When contacted, chief agriculture officer Rajinder Sohi said, “The government is taking steps to make farmers aware of the bad impacts of burning the stubble. We have also arranged 371 happy seeders to enable farmers to sow seeds without burning.”