Stubble burning continues to rage in Punjab, 258 cases in two weeks
Despite efforts by Punjab government to curb paddy stubble burning, farm-fire incidents have not abated in the state. Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) reported about 27 cases of stubble burning on Monday, taking the total count to 258 this year, which equals the number of cases reported last year during the same period.
PRSC officials said while eight incidents each were reported in Amritsar and Tarn Taran on Monday, three cases in Gurdaspur, and two cases each were reported in Mansa and Patiala. “One case each was reported from other state districts,” said senior scientist PRSC, Anil Sood.
The PRSC remote sensing centre had started monitoring cases of stubble burning from September 23.
Over 600 incidents of farm fire were witnessed from the beginning of the season till October 7, in 2017, while in 2018 as well as 2019, in the same period, 258 farm fire cases were reported.
On a single day, 90 of farm fires were reported on October 7, 2017, while 119 cases were reported on October 7 in 2018. This year, only 27 cases were reported on Monday, October 7.
Out of the 258 cases, the maximum farm fires were reported from the Majha area.
Experts of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) said many farmers were setting their fields on fire to prepare the field for sowing potato.
Government agencies were expecting farm fires to continue as usual after chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh was heckled when he urged farmers to shun stubble burning and opt for happy seeder during Kisan Mela at PAU on September 21.
Chief agricultural officer Ludhiana Baldev Singh said that besides registration of a criminal case, national green tribunal (NGT) has also taken a stringent view of the matter.
As per the new provision, a fine from Rs 2,500 to Rs 15,000 would be imposed on defaulters, depending on the area set on fire. Last year 55 farmers were penalised in Ludhaina district for stubble burning.