2 Mohali farmers pay up stubble burning season’s first fines of Rs 5,000
The season’s first challans (fines) of Rs 5,000 were issued to two farmers in the district for stubble burning as officials from the administration and the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) on Tuesday finally got tough on offenders to prevent air quality from deteriorating.
The farmers were caught burning stubble by a PPCB team in Bakharpur village in Dera Bassi and Banur.
Stubble burning is banned in the state.
A senior official of the administration said both the farmers owned less than two acres of land, so they had been fined Rs 2,500 each. Directions were issued to the revenue department to make red entries in their land records, he said.
15 stubble burning sites detected, two located
However, even as the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre’s data showed 15 sites of stubble burning in the district, only two farmers were found burning the crop residue.
Red entry means the farmers will not be eligible for any government facility or loan from any bank or institution.
Fines for stubble burning on farmland of less than two acres amounts to Rs 2,500 and for fields of two to five acres it is Rs 5,000. For over five acres, offenders are fined Rs 15,000.
Girish Dayalan, Mohali deputy commissioner, said “we have formed rapid response teams and appointed village level nodal officers to monitor areas under their jurisdiction and report stubble burning, if any.”
App at work
He said all team members had been trained to use the ATR mobile application which allowed them to take action on the spot.
Response time was fixed and it was mandatory for every officer to update action taken within the stipulated period.
The area under paddy cultivation in the district is around 25,800 hectares which is expected to result in 1.29 lakh quintals of crop residue.
Mohali was the third district in the state last year with the lowest number of stubble burning incidents.In 2019, 82 people were penalised Rs 2.55 lakh and seven FIRs were registered.