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Ludhiana administration appoints nodal officers to check farm fires

Ludhiana deputy commissioner appealed them to refrain from burning paddy straw especially amid the pandemic.
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | By HT Correspondent, Ludhiana
UPDATED ON SEP 30, 2020 10:22 PM IST

To prevent crop residue burning during Kharif season especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the district administration has appointed nodal officers for paddy growing villages where stubble was being traditionally put to fire.

Seeking support and cooperation from farmers, Ludhiana deputy commissioner (DC) Varinder Kumar Sharma on Wednesday, appealed them to refrain from burning paddy straw especially amid the pandemic, which can further lead to serious implications in aggravating the health issues of those who are already suffering from several diseases.

The DC said that the state government has decided that there is a need to pull out all stops and fully involve administrative machinery for “on the ground’ activities at the village-level. Therefore, nodal officers have been appointed for each village where the paddy is grown and its stubble is being burnt.

Sharma also mentioned that these nodal officers would perform their duties in the concerned villages to control stubble burning during the harvesting period till November 15. The staff of municipal cooperation, revenue, rural development and panchayats, agriculture, horticulture and soil conservation departments and Punjab Pollution Control Board besides guardians of governance would closely coordinate to further intensify efforts to stamp out the unhealthy practice of stubble burning in the state.

Sharma added that these officers have been assigned the task to ensure that harvester combines operate in the villages only with the super SMS system properly installed on them. They will also prepare the list of owners who have given their land on rent and then inform each landowner to ensure that no paddy straw is burnt on their land, otherwise, the red entry shall be made in the land record.

These officers will also identify those farmers who are likely to put fire to the paddy residue and to convince them by the way of one to one contact. They would also get to know the farmers who have burnt the residue and ask the revenue patwari of the village to make a relevant entry in revenue records as per separate instructions issued by the department.

Apart from these steps, the nodal officers will create awareness in villages by way of holding meetings with farmers, to help arrange CRM machines in the village, to distribute pamphlets/leaflets, etc, to make announcements in gurdwaras or by other modes, to interact with village schools for awareness lectures to students so that these students can further create awareness among their parents.

The DC said that various sites have been identified/ earmarked in the district for collection of residues in common lands/cattle ponds and gaushalas, where farmers or any entrepreneur will be able to store paddy straw. This stored basmati residue can be transported to places where they can be used as cattle fodder.

Notably, the paddy has been grown in 27 lakh hectares of land in the state which includes cultivation of basmati on seven lakh hectares and paddy residue of 16.50 million tons shall be produced out of paddy crop.

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