Loose electricity wires leading to fire incidents in fields in Mansa | punjab$bhatinda | Hindustan Times
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Loose electricity wires leading to fire incidents in fields in Mansa

While the district administration has repeatedly warned farmers to refrain from stubble burning, a number of incidents have been reported where farmers have lost their crops to fire caused by loose electric wires passing over their fields, thanks to the electricity department in Mansa.

punjab Updated: Apr 02, 2017 15:47 IST
Mohammad Ghazali
President of the district unit of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha Iqbal Singh Phaphre showing the hanging high­tension wire over a field in Mansa on Friday..
President of the district unit of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha Iqbal Singh Phaphre showing the hanging high­tension wire over a field in Mansa on Friday..(HT Photo)

While the district administration has repeatedly warned farmers to refrain from stubble burning, a number of incidents have been reported where farmers have lost their crops to fire caused by loose electric wires passing over their fields, thanks to the electricity department in Mansa.

Last year, Ved Parkash, 50, of Ralla village, had committed suicide by jumping into a canal after the wheat crop spread over two acres was gutted in fire due to a spark in a combine harvester. Around a dozen cases of standing wheat crop being damaged by fire were reported in the district last year.

Iqbal Phaphre, district president of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha said that despite submitting several memorandums to the district administration, nothing seems to have been done to rectify the issue. “The short circuit in the electric transformers and loose wire hovering over the field is the major reason for crop catching fire in the field. Last month, only we had given a demand letter to the deputy commissioner asking the electricity officials to take care of the issue, but nothing has been done in this regard.”

The farmers had demanded compensation for the crop damaged due to fire in their fields, but the district administration had denied it last year citing that the government has not introduced any policy under which compensation should be provided to such claimants. “Crop damaged due to fire doesn’t fall under the category to be awarded monetary compensation,” former deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma had then told this correspondent. The executive engineer of the electricity department could not be reached for comments.

70 CASES OF FIRE LAST YEAR

The fire department claims to have received around 70 cases of fire in the fields last year, but due to lack of manpower, it was not possible to visit the multiple spots simultaneously. This year, the wheat crop has been sown on around 1.70 lakh hectare of land in the district.