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Sunday, 1 November 2020

Farm fire cases highest in four years

Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 31

Despite 8,000 nodal officers being appointed by the government, dedicated call centre teams and over 70,000 more machines for in situ paddy straw management, stubble burning cases are the highest in Punjab as compared to the previous three years.

Farm fires continue to contribute to the poor air quality index with the number rising to over 27,000 this year. At 2,799, the stubble burning incidents on Friday were the second highest for a day in the ongoing season. As many as 2,989 cases were recorded on Wednesday. In the Malwa belt, Sangrur, Patiala, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Mansa and Barnala recorded a high number of cases, meaning thereby the air quality index, which was moderate in the state, is now poor in a majority of the districts.

27,000 incidents to date

Stubble burning cases so far are higher than those reported during the corresponding period in the past three years. The number was 19,869, 15,042 and 22,258 in this period in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Punjab has to date seen over 26,000 cases of farm fires.

The nodal officers are already working in villages in close coordination with the staff of the Cooperation, Revenue, Rural Development and Panchayats, Agriculture, Horticulture and Soil Conservation Departments as well as the Punjab Pollution Control Board.

"Armed with the super straw management system, the officers will prepare lists of owners who have given their land on rent and then call each one of them on the phone, warning them that a red entry shall be made in their record if they fail to ensure that no paddy straw is burnt," said an official.

However, farmers claim till the time they get relief, they have no other option.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/34IzvHU

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