Though the district administration and the agriculture department have been regularly raising their voice against the menace of stubble-burning in the fields, all appeals seem to have fallen on deaf ears as a couple of mishaps were reported from the region on Saturday.
Besides a fire becoming threatening at the local Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), a family in Gurdaspur district had a narrow escape. But the motorcycle the family was riding was completely gutted.
The fire spread in about 10 acres of land on the premises of the GNDU on Saturday afternoon. Owing to the wind, the fire reportedly started in order to burn the stubble turned threatening. The fire spread around 12.50 pm and it took the fire brigade three hours to control it.
As the fire site is close to the Heritage Village, the project could have been under threat had the fire tenders not reached the site in time. The university also has been raising voice against the menace.
Col Harbans Singh, GNDU security officer, said that as soon as the fire spread, the security guards rushed in to call the fire tenders. The fire was controlled soon, he added.
Meanwhile, a family had a narrow escape after the motorcycle they were riding was caught in the fire set to burn stubble on the Sri Hargobindpur-Amritsar road.
Sardara Singh of Verowal village was going on the motorcycle along with his wife and two kids when the fire set in the fields spread on to the road and engulfed the passing motorcycle.
He hurriedly stopped the motorbike and rushed his family to safety. The motorbike, however, was completely gutted.
Sardara Singh, who received minor burns, reported the matter to the police and sought action.
In yet another incident near Vallah in Amritsar, a fire started to burn stubble spread owing to strong winds. Two fire tenders were rushed to the place and they were on the job till the filing of this report.
Meanwhile, a blatant burning of residue was seen in the border villages on Saturday. The fire was seen in various fields in the Attari sector and with the wind blowing strongly, it looked threatening.
For long the district administration has launched a campaign against the practice. Not only awareness campaigns have been launched, but the district agriculture department has also been educating farmers on this.
A few days ago, the agriculture office had flagged off nine vehicles to various villages of the district to make farmers aware on stubble-burning.
Agriculture experts said the residue burning not only spoiled the nutrient value in the soil but also added to environmental pollution.