Haryana logs 46% rise in farm fires this year

Updated on Nov 16, 2020 01:22 AM IST
The number may go up further as the stubble burning is still going on with around 200 AFLs being reported in the state in the last 24 hours.(HT file photo)
The number may go up further as the stubble burning is still going on with around 200 AFLs being reported in the state in the last 24 hours.(HT file photo)
By, Karnal

Notwithstanding the Haryana government’s claims of zero farm fires this year, the state has reported 46% rise in such incidents than the last year, forcing the authorities to ban the sale and use of fire crackers in 21 districts of the state during festivals.

As per the data released by the Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC), the state has this year logged 8,831 active fire locations (AFLs) so far against the last year’s total 6,630 (from September 25 to November 30).

The number may go up further as the stubble burning is still going on with around 200 AFLs being reported in the state in the last 24 hours.

The maximum number of farm fires has been reported in Fatehabad district (1,682), followed by 1,521 in Kaithal, 1,096 in Jind, 1,041 in Karnal, 837 Kurukshetra, 801 in Ambala, 496 in Yamunanagar, and 473 in Sirsa.

Districts with a small area under paddy cultivation also reported the stubble burning incidents as 279 AFLs were witnessed in Hisar, 152 in Sonepat, 126 in Rohtak and 118 in Palwal.

As of now, there is no visible impact of the central government’s decision to form a commission for action against violators causing air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR) with hefty penalty up to 1 crore and jail term up to five years. The farm fires have increased despite the officials in the state agriculture department claiming that area under paddy cultivation has declined to around 11.5 lakh hectares against 12.5 lakh hectares last year, following the cash incentive scheme for diversification.

The farm fires have affected the air quality of several cities, especially those falling in NCR as the bulletin of the Central Pollution Control Board revealed that the air quality of Jind, Murthal, Gurugram, Fatehabad and Hisar fallen to “severe” category with the Air Quality Index (AQI) of these cities was found above 400, while Rohtak, Bahadurgarh, Sonepat, Karnal, Kurukshetra and Sirsa were in the “very poor” category on Sunday.

Officials in the state agriculture department claimed that they were making all efforts by providing subsidised machines to farmers for the management of crop waste. Haryana State Pollution Control Board member secretary S Narayanan said that they were making efforts to minimise the incidents of farm fires and ground level officers of the board were working hard to make farmers aware of the harms of stubble burning.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Neeraj Mohan is a correspondent, covering Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Panipat and Yamunanagar districts of Haryana.

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