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Posted at: May 9, 2018, 1:48 AM; last updated: May 9, 2018, 1:48 AM (IST)

Burning of wheat straw rampant in dist farms

Burning of wheat straw rampant in dist farms

Ajay Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 8

Even after the issuance of several instructions by the state government, district farmers can still be seen engaged in stubble farming. Last year, the government had directed the PSPCL officials and the patwaris to keep an eye on farmers as well as the numberdars who indulged in the burning of straw in their fields. But the way farmers are continuously burning the wheat stubbles, it seems the authorities have failed to initiate any action.

Farmers residing in villages near Suranussi and Kartarpur can be seen burning their farm lands after the wheat was harvested last month. However, district engineering officer Arun Kakkar claimed that the Punjab Pollution Control Board was monitoring every location through satellite to check whether farmers engaged in stubble burning. Unaware about the situation, he said, so far, during this season, they haD issued 30 challans to farmers who were caught burning straw and if anything of this sort was happening, they would restrict them from doing so.

He also said that their staff was always deployed in fields these days to curb the menace. Although farmers said that they were informed about the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders on stubble burning, they didn’t have the desired machines to chop off the wheat leftovers. A farmer at Lidran village said they needed to prepare their lands for the next crops beforehand, therefore burning the straw seems the only quick options.

An agricultural official said though farmers had been made aware about the corns of stubble burning, still if it’s happening, they would look into the matter . Also after the wheat was harvested, farmers use 80-90 percent residue as fodder and burns the rest there we have introduced a method by which it could be avoided. He added that a subsidised crop called “Dhaincha” was available in the market that fills an acre land with 20 kg seeds and the process was called “Green Manuring” that completely damages the stubble and decompose it. Moreover, farmers shouldn’t be in a hurry for sowing paddy crop and instead should mix the wheat straws in the soil, with the help of machines available. The stubble mixed deeply with the soil would also increase its fertility by enhancing nitrogen and phosphorus content.

Manmohan Kalia, nodal officer for Crop Residue Management, said farmers had disc harrows , tillers used for ploughing and mixing wheat stubble in the soil , even rotavators in large numbers and most of these have been provided by the Agriculture Department on subsidy for the last 10 years . He further said that they had been advising farmers to have one additional crop of moong, maize fodder, other fodder for green manuring or fodder with zero till drill or happy seeders in the wheat stubbles so that by the time field preparation for paddy was to be done, it got decomposed.


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