PPCB to come down hard on stubble burning, 10 districts on its radar
Ludhiana The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has started monitoring stubble burning incidents from September 15 and no case of paddy residue burning has been reported yet, said new chairman Adarsh Pal Vig on Thursday.
Vig, who was attending a seminar on the World Ozone Day at the Pal Auditorium of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), said, “We will pay attention on the 10 districts that reported most stubble burning cases in 2020. Some of these are Sangrur, Ludhiana, Moga, Bathinda, Ferozepur and Patiala. We will also zero in on villages with a similar poor record.”
In 2020, Sangrur was the worst offender on the stubble burning front with 9,705 cases followed by Bathinda (7,806); Ferozepur (6,947); Moga (5,843); Muktsar (5,458) and Patiala (5,304). Vig added that the PPCB and the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre has developed a mobile application through which fire incidents could be tracked on phones. “Patwaris across the state have been linked through the app. They will be directed to mark a red entry in the land record of farmers found violating government guidelines. Paddy residue management is a money-spinner. The farmer needs to be a little innovative and industrious,” he added.
He added that stubble management was laborious and a bit costly, but polluting the environment and making your own children and elderly sick was not a viable option at all.
PPCB member secretary Krunesh Garg added that the state government had allocated ₹25 crore to be given as subsidy to industrial units that incorporate stubble with rice husk for burning in their furnaces. “The department has identified 50 such industries and each unit will be given ₹25 lakh. The objective is to use one million tonne of paddy stubble for industry in the first phase,” Garg added.
‘PUNJAB WRONGLY BLAMED
FOR POLLUTION IN DELHI’
PAU soil department head OP Choudhary while sharing a recent report stated that stubble burning had nothing to do with the pollution in Delhi and the national capital has to cut down on carbon emission to decrease it pollution level. “Stubble burning is a localised problem and caused more harm to residents of Punjab than any other location,” he said, adding that chlorine rich particulates from e-waste and plastic waste- burning emissions were responsible for reducing the visibility of Delhi in winters.
Meanwhile, PPCB has started a state-wide two-month awareness programme against stubble burning as well with Patiala its first stop. Chairman Vig added that with the burning of stubble, environment is polluted, land fertility depletes and friendly insects die. He added that the Centre had set up an air commission to cover Punjab, Haryana, UP and National Capital Region (NCR) areas.