Other States

With wheat harvest over, Punjab registers spike in stubble burning

Action is being taken against those defying the stubble burning ban, says Punjab Pollution Control Board.

Action is being taken against those defying the stubble burning ban, says Punjab Pollution Control Board.   | Photo Credit: -

Moga district has seen the highest number of farm fire incidents at 1,179 so far

With wheat harvesting over in the key grain producing State of Punjab, there has been a spike in incidents of stubble burning compared with the past two years as many farmers continue to defy the ban on the practice.

Government data show that across the State, between April 15 and May 24, as many as 13,026 incidents of straw fire have been reported. Last year the number of such incidents during the same period was 10,476 and in 2018, it was 11,236.

Moga district has seen the highest number of farm fire incidents at 1,179, while Amritsar with 1,119 cases is at the second spot. Bathinda district is third with 1,061 cases, according to the Punjab Pollution Control Board.

Karunesh Garg, member secretary of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, told The Hindu that action was being taken against all those defying the ban. “Challans are being issued to offenders, besides police cases are also being registered against the farmers who are burning wheat straw,” he said.

The ban and action against people burning the crop residue is regulated under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Mr. Garg said so far 3,141 incidents of deliberate straw burning have been identified across the State in which challan amounting to ₹39, 27,500 had been issued to the offenders. “Besides ‘red- pen entry’ has been made in the revenue record of 510 farmers and FIRs registered against 322 farmers for defying the ban,” said Mr. Garg.

Health issues

According to Sandeep Bahl, senior environmental engineer at PPCB in Ludhiana, burning of wheat straw reduces the soil fertility, besides polluting the environment.

“Burning of wheat straw can cause diseases such as problem in breathing, lungs etc, which could affect recovery of patients suffering from COVID 19,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 9:19:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/with-wheat-harvest-over-punjab-registers-spike-in-stubble-burning/article31674936.ece

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