With 687 incidents reported from May 4 to May 7, a steep rise in cases of stubble burning has been seen in Moga in May.
Despite administration’s ban on burning of stubble, farmers continue to openly defy the order. As per data collected by Hindustan Times, while 20-30 cases of stubble burning were reported per day in April, on May 5, as many as 244 cases were detected. 113 cases were reported on May 4, 167 on May 6 and 163 on May 7.
The Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) in Ludhiana says 742 cases of stubble burning were detected in Moga district from April 15 to May 7. While the district authorities received 742 alerts, challans were reportedly issued to only three farmers. PRSC uses remote sensing, geographic information system and global positioning system to monitor stubble burning. It collects the data and based on images, concerned district authorities are alerted through SMS.
An official from state’s agricultural department has blamed the shortage of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) staff for the increase in cases of stubble burning. “PPCB has a single sub-divisional officer, who has been looking after three districts, including Moga, Faridkot and Ferozepur,” said Moga chief agriculture officer Paramjeet Singh.
No help from govt to farmers
Despite NGT order saying, “The state government will provide machines, mechanism and equipment or its cost to the farmers to ensure that agricultural residue in the field is removed, collected and stored at appropriate identified sites in each district,” the state government has done a little in this regard, as per officials.
Despite repeated attempts, PPCB SDO Gurmeet Singh was not available for a comment.