Stubble burning in Punjab declines this year: Chief Secretary

Stubble burning in Punjab declines this year: Chief Secretary
Vini Mahajan, Chief Secretary, Punjab

Chandigarh: The stubble burning area in Punjab has this year reduced by 5% showing a welcome decline in the number of crop residue burning incidents this year.

Chief Secretary, Punjab, Vini Mahajan attributed this to effective in-situ and ex-situ management of crop residue during a virtual meeting with the senior officers, all the Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSPs) here,

Notably, this difference on the ground has been witnessed in the backdrop of 137.89 LMT Paddy arrivals during the ongoing procurement season in the mandis of the state so far, which is 33 per cent higher than the previous year.

The state government claims of facilitating this difference on the ground seem to have substance as Kulbeer Singh of Shadipur village in Jalandhar district said farmers were managing the stubble by getting the machines from local co-operative societies.

He has formed a group of farmers in his village and all of them have been managing the stubble on their fields. No incident of stubble burning has been reported from this village for some years.

Another farmer Jagjeet Singh of village Lallian of this district said, “I have received mulcher, RMB Plough, Rotavator on subsidy from agriculture and farmers’ welfare department and these have benefited me a lot.”

Jagjeet has been offering these machines to the other farmers without any charges.

However, more farmers across the state need to follow such examples and become more aware of the remedial measures which can be taken at their end to contribute in eradication of this highly hazardous problem.

Total straw burning area this year is 7.49 lac hectare as compare to 7.90 lac hectare last year till date, which is 5.23 percent less. As many as 336 less cases of straw burning have been reported in a single day so far this year as compared to last year.

As on October 30 last year, 3135 cases of straw burning were reported, which are 2799 this year. In Bathinda district, 202 cases have been reported this year as compared to 343 cases of last year. Similarly, in Ferozepur 290 cases have been reported this year as compared to 328 of last year and 151 cases in Mansa instead of 285 of previous year, have been reported, while rest of the districts have also witnessed a decline.

Mahajan directed the officials to further intensify the efforts by enforcing the government instructions strictly to ensure zero stubble burning in coming days.

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