Stubble burning: Farmers not using straw managing machines to face criminal cases, Rs50,000 to Rs1 lakh fines
Farmers using combine harvesters for paddy without a Super Straw Management System (SMS) will be slapped with a fine of Rs. 50,000 and face criminal proceedings, the district administration announced on Tuesday to check stubble burning and its resultant air pollution.
Dry heaps of residue are left behind after combine harvester machines cut the crops, which have to be cleared for the next sowing. Most farmers then use the cheapest way to dispose this by burning. SMS attachments chop the leftover stalks and spread the residue as mulch and plant seeds.
Those not using the attachments with the harvesters will be charged under provisions of the Air (Pollution and Prevention) Act, 1981, and pay compensation or fine for harming the environment.
“The district administration is working hard to prevent stubble burning. An awareness drive on the issue is continuing. Despite repeated warnings, punitive action will be taken against those who violate the directions of the state government,” said Girish Dayalan, Mohali’s deputy commissioner.
Fines of ₹50,000 will be charged for first time violation, Rs. 75,000 for the second violation and ₹1 lakh the third time.
Dayalan said nodal officers and district pollution control officers would keep an eye on stubble burning activities and those not following orders will have to pay fines ranging from ₹2,500 to ₹15,000.
Authorities in the district agriculture department and Pollution Control Board have also appealed to farmers, combine owners and operators not to set fire to stubble after harvesting paddy.
All support has been promised by the administration to the department and the board.