Amritsar, May 23
Though the district has reported lesser number of fire incidents this season as compared to the last year, a huge damage has been caused to flora and fauna as a large number of trees alongside the roads and in other areas have been affected by fires caused by stubble burning.
As per the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPSCB), the district has reported 865 fire incidents this rabi season as compared to 1,245 last year. The district reported one more fire incident on Tuesday. A visit to rural areas of the district reveals that the maximum number of wheat fields have already been cleared and farmers have started preparing the land for the next crop.
While some farmers argue that there is no better alternative to clearing the fields with fire as the wheat stubble floats on water when the fields are waterlogged for paddy transplantation, most of them feel that the damage caused to trees could be avoided.
Kuljeet Singh, a progressive farmer from Malawali village here, said, “If the area under trees is cleared of stubble using harrow machine, the loss of trees and birds having their nests on them can be avoided.”
Tree trunks on most roads can be seen half burnt or blackened by fire. “These trees would not be able to grow properly and sooner or later these would fall or dry. Strict action must be taken against those farmers who have caused damage to trees. Even nests on trees are burnt leading to displacing of birds,” said Jatinder Preet Singh, another resident.
Residents say the district administration has failed to check the burning of crop residue in fields. They say the government should at least take action against those who have caused damage to trees so that it can act as a deterrent in the future.
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