Fire destroys crop on 12 acres near Ferozepur Road | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Fire destroys crop on 12 acres near Ferozepur Road

Sore over the fire incident wherein "ready to harvest" crop on 12 acres was reduced to ashes on Wednesday, the residents of Baddowal, Karimpura and Hasanpur villages alleged that the district administration was soft on the owners of marriage palaces.

punjab Updated: Apr 27, 2012 15:08 IST
Tarsem Singh Deogan

Sore over the fire incident wherein "ready to harvest" crop on 12 acres was reduced to ashes on Wednesday, the residents of Baddowal, Karimpura and Hasanpur villages alleged that the district administration was soft on the owners of marriage palaces.

The incident took place on Wednesday evening following the bursting of a firecracker at a marriage palace on the Ferozepur Road on Wednesday evening. The incident destroyed crop on the nearby fields.

Irked over the incident, the villagers came out on the road and staged a protest. They blocked the traffic on the Ferozepur Road for over two hours i.e. from 10pm to 12.30pm and lifted the blockade only after the intervention of the police.

A team from the district administration visited the affected fields and made an assessment report which has to be sent to the state government through the deputy commissioner (DC) for compensation.

A team comprising of naib tehsildar (Mullanpur Dakha) Harminder Singh, patwari and kanungo visited the villages and compiled an assessment report.

The naib tehsildar said DC Rahul Tewari had asked the team to visit the area and assess the damage. According to the report compiled by naib tehsildar, around 12 acres of wheat crop was destroyed in the fire which took place due to crackers burst by the baratis, who were celebrating marriage functions at various palaces situated on the Ferozepur road near the villages.

Farmer Bhajan Singh's wheat crop on 4 acres of land, Kulwant Singh crop on around 2 acres and Bhag Singh's crop on 8 acres of land was destroyed in the fire.

Rajinder Singh, a panchayat member of Hasanpur village, said, "The marriage palaces are violating the rules. Loud music is being played till morning, though the Supreme Court had banned loud music from 10pm to 6am. Use of firecrackers after 10 pm is banned as well, but the Ludhiana district administration has failed to ensure the implementation of court orders."

"On top of everything, we are under house arrest whenever there is any celebration in these marriage palaces as people attending the functions park their vehicles in front of our houses," he said.

"We had meetings with marriage palace owners on these issues, but to no avail, as palace owners are least bothered about our problems. No action has been taken by the police and the district administration despite repeated complaints," he added.

Four booked for bursting crackers
The Mullanpur Dakha police have registered a complaint against Harkesh Kumar of Jalandhar, Sunil Kumar of Ludhiana, their accomplices Manoj and Rakesh and other unidentified persons under Sections 307, 436, 148 and 149 of the IPC following a complaint of Harpreet Singh of Hasanpur village.

According to the complaint made by Harpreet, the accused were present at a marriage palace adjoining to the village on Wednesday night. The wheat crop caught fire due to crackers fired by the accused. When he resisted over the issue, the accused opened fire at him with an intention to kill, but he escaped with minor injuries.

According to Ludhiana rural SSP Gurprit Singh Toor, the police have initiated a probe, but no arrest has been made so far.

Compensation is usually less: farmers
According to affected farmers Bhajan Singh, Kulwant Singh and Bhag Singh, the government has announced compensation for them, but the amount has not been finalised as yet.

The government generally pays Rs 5,000 as compensation. They said we earn Rs 30,000 to 40,000 from the crop sown in one acre and the fodder from per acre was sold for Rs 10,000 so Rs 5,000 is a relatively small sum.

Deputy commissioner speaks
DC Rahul Tewari said the staff was already making the assessment of the loss. He would send the case to the state government for compensation and have asked the police to administer check on use of music after 10pm in addition to the traffic management in front of the marriage palaces. He also stated that he would ban bursting crackers in wheat and paddy season to avoid such incidents.

Commissioner speaks
Police commissioner Ishwar Singh has banned bursting crackers on the roads which have heavy flow of traffic. In the orders passed on Thursday, the police commissioner said it had been learnt that the people park their vehicles along the roadsides outside marriage palaces which disrupts the flow of traffic. He appealed to the people to park their vehicles in designated parking places.