With paddy har­vest, farm fires on rise

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Man­ish.Sirhindi @times­group.com

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.

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