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45% drop in stubble burning: Punjab tells Union secretary

There were 80,879 cases of stubble burning reported during the paddy season in 2016 and 43,814 in the 2017, senior officers of Punjab agriculture and environment department said.

punjab Updated: Jul 21, 2018 10:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
stubble burning,Union secretary,Punjab
There was an improvement even during the wheat harvesting season this year. As compared to 15,378 cases of stubble burning in 2017, the 2018 season had only 11,095 reported cases, translating to a drop of 28%. (HT File)

There has been a 45% drop in stubble burning cases in Punjab during the 2017 paddy harvesting season as compared to the 2016 figures. The fact came to light at a high-level meeting under the chairmanship of Union environment secretary CK Mishra here on Friday.

During the meeting, senior officers of the Punjab agriculture and environment departments said that there were 80,879 cases of stubble burning during the paddy season in 2016. With 43,814 cases reported in the 2017 season, a fall of 45% was witnessed, they said.

There was an improvement even during the wheat harvesting season this year. As compared to 15,378 cases of stubble burning in 2017, the 2018 season had only 11,095 reported cases, translating to a drop of 28%.

Burning of crop residue by farmers in the region began with mechanised harvesting techniques being adopted for wheat during April-May and paddy in October-November. There has been a surge in stubble burning in the past decade, impacted air quality in the region. The officers said the change in trend has happened due to the state government’s efforts to sensitise farmers with seminars and meetings.

The state authorities apprised the Union secretary that there is a legal mechanism in place against residue burning. They said besides providing subsidiary machinery to farmer groups and cooperatives, the state government is also setting up dust collector machines in grain markets.

Punjab chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh and Haryana chief secretary Depinder Singh Dhesi and other higher officials of both states were also present in the meeting.

First Published: Jul 20, 2018 19:43 IST