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1,791 stubble burning cases in Pb till 8 Oct

These cases have been reported despite CM Capt Amarinder’s appeal to Punjab farmers to ensure zero stubble burning as it could exacerbate the Covid crisis by aggravating air pollution

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

As many as 1,791 cases of stubble burning have been reported in Punjab till 8 October even as Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has made an appeal for “zero stubble burning” in the state.

Punjab additional chief secretary, development, Anirudh Tewari said that out of the 1,791 cases of stubble burning reported till 8 October in the state, environment compensation has been imposed in 499 cases, red entries have been made in land record in 320 cases, six cases have been registered under Air Act 1981, and three first information reports (FIRs) have also been filed against the violators.

This is despite Punjab CM’s appeal to the state farmers to ensure zero stubble burning as it could exacerbate the Covid-19 situation, given that increased air pollution levels would add to breathing troubles which could complicate the coronavirus infections.

Tewari said to motivate the farming community to restrain from burning crop residue, the Punjab government was providing subsidy worth Rs 300 crore ~ ranging from 50 per cent to 80 per cent to farmers for the purchase of 23,500 agro-machines for the management of paddy residue during Kharif season this year. He said 51,000 machines have been provided on subsidy and 8,500 custom hiring centres have been operationalised in the state. These machines have been provided to individual farmers, cooperative societies, panchayats and farmers groups, he said.

The Punjab chief secretary, Vini Mahajan, on Saturday asked the departments concerned to ensure strict monitoring to eradicate the stubble burning menace from the state.

She said legal action should be initiated immediately in case of any violation as this trend will further exacerbate the Covid-19 situation.

Responding to the appeal made by CM Capt Amarinder to ensure zero stubble burning in the state, according to Mahajan, many panchayats have already joined hands with the state by passing resolutions against stubble burning, but the target of zero paddy stubble burning would only be achieved when all the panchayats will pledge to shun this hazardous practice.

The district administrations have already been directed to make fool-proof arrangement for storage of paddy straw at the village level on common land, cattle ponds, gaushalas and that sufficient space should be made available for the storage of Basmati straw during ongoing Kharif harvesting season which could be used as cattle feed later, Mahajan said.