Despite ban, burning of stubble goes unchecked in and around Pathankot. The thick black smoke and black fields left after stubble burning is a common sight in this district.
A drive from Sarna village in Pathankot to Gurdaspur shows blackened fields after stubble burning. Instead of using scientific techniques, farmers still prefer to set the wheat stubble afire, creating pollution and putting lives of others at risk.
The practice though has many times backfired, but farmers are not willing to sun the age-old technique.
“I have landed in a dispute with my neighbour as the uncontrolled fire engulfed the water pump in my fields,” said Rajinder Singh, a farmer at Dinanagar.
Smoke has chocked the air in Dinanagar. Black ash can be seen in homes, says Chand Arora, a resident. He said in the night, farmers prefer to lit the stubble to avoid trouble unaware of its ill-effects.
The fire can spread fast due to strong winds. I saw fire in almost every field when I was coming back from Gurdaspur to Pathankot a few days ago, said Umesh Gulati, a local resident. “The authorities have failed to take action against the violators.”
Pathankot deputy commissioner could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.