With paddy harvest, farm fires on rise
Patiala: Putting officials on their toes, incidents of farm fires have started rising in Punjab as paddy harvest is gaining pace across the state.
As against 911 cases recorded in 2017 and 385 in 2018 between September 23 and October 9, this year the satellite imagery has caught 412 cases of stubble burning in the same period.
Sources in the Punjab Pollution Control Board said the data was being compiled daily and there was a strong likelihood that this number would rise in the coming days since the government was trying not to impose any environmental fine on farmers setting crop residue on fire.
According to Punjab Pollution Control Board chairman S S Marwaha, the board is monitoring the situation and sharing the updates with the officials at the district level.
Punjab government is claiming that an all-out effort is being made to encourage the farmers to shun the practice of stubble burning and instead use in situ stubble management machinery that has been provided to them at subsidised rates. As per the government claims, subsidies have been provided on over 38,000 stubble management machines across Punjab. This year, the government has a target of providing 26,000 more machines to the farmers.