To prevent burning of wheat crops due to accidental fires during the harvesting season, the Punjab Cultural Council has demanded from the Chief Minister (CM)  Amarinder Singh to fix the responsibilities of the departments concerned.

Coming out with suggestions in a letter to CM, the council chairman Harjeet Singh Grewal, secretary Harman Singh Butahari and finance secretary Baljit Singh Sainihas asked the government not to allow sowing of wheat in a radius of 10 feet around the electricity transformers as sparking from the transformers leads to fire.

The council said powercom, panchayats, cooperative department, and revenue departments should make necessary arrangements well in advance so that adequate safeguards could be made before the harvesting season.

Apart from this, the power corporation should also be directed to ensure cleanliness under the transformers and to timely repair of dangling power lines passing over the fields much before the harvesting.

They demanded that the complete monitoring and compliance of these two works should be done by the employees of power station concerned and stringent action should be taken against the negligent personnel.

The council office-bearers suggested that village-level employees of agriculture, panchayats and cooperative departments should aware the farmers not to plant wheat around transformers and repair of loose wires in the fields.

“The electricity corporation should aware the farmers through various modes of media and advise them for the timely repairs of low hanging wires and cables when the straw is made from wheat,” they said.

In the letter, the Punjabi Cultural Council also informed that the drivers of harvester combines’ as well as tractor-driven reapers often uses headphones or high pitched stereos to listen songs while driving. “Fire can break out due to friction when some small piece of an iron or other harden gravel came in contact with the reaper’s blade. Driver often misses such incidents due to music leading to big mishaps,” the council stressed.

The council has also demanded from the CM that the panchayats should be provided with at least 10 small fire extinguishers at subsidised costs for controlling fire.