The Indian Medical Association and Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha (BJGVJ) cautioned farmers against burning of paddy straw, which is detrimental both to the health and fertility of the soil.
Addressing a press conference at IMA House, BRS Nagar, Dr Manoj Sobti, president of IMA Punjab, said, "As doctors we are concerned about the issue as burning of paddy straw and wheat straw release smoke, which is highly detrimental to our health. Both the administration and the farmers have to realise their duty."
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Karamveer Goyal, president of IMA Ludhiana, and medical specialist, cautioned the farmers that the smoke emitted as a result of burning of paddy straw or wheat straw could affect our respiratory system and thereby other systems of our body.
Lung diseases and diseases of nose and throat get aggravated thus incapacitating the person. He reminded them of an incident that occurred on October 12, 1998, when smoke engulfed Punjab causing panic among people.
Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary of BJGVJ, said, "Water vapours collect around the smoke particles suspended in the air which then forms smog."
He reminded the farmers of the London Smog in 1950 in which 3,500 people were killed.
"Maximum permissible limit of the respirable suspended particles (RSPM) in the atmosphere is 60ig/m3. But on Jagraon Bridge in Ludhiana it is invariably at 300ig/m3.
It further increases when smoke from the paddy straw burning mixes with the air of the city," cautioned Mitra. Major (retd) Sher Singh Aulukh - president of the jatha - said that they would carry forward this message to people by holding such gatherings regularly in different parts of the district.