Ludhiana, November 25
Acting tough against the age-old menace, the state government has fined at least 737 farmers with almost Rs 16 lakh environmental compensation while another 571 peasants were blacklisted in their revenue records for resorting to stubble burning in Ludhiana district during this paddy harvest season, officials have confirmed.
All-out efforts made
We have made all-out efforts to check the menace of stubble burning and the results are evident from the fact that this year, the district has recorded the lowest farm fires in three years, with less than half cases reported this season as compared to 2021. — Surabhi Malik, Deputy Commissioner
It was despite the fact that the sustained campaign involving awareness, education and enforcement spearheaded by the district administration has resulted in lowest farm fires this Kharif season in the past three years with this year’s tally dipping more than even half the crop residue burning incidents recorded in the district during 2021 and over 38 per cent less than the count of stubble burning incidents spotted here in 2020.
Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) Dr Amanjit Singh told The Tribune, here on Friday that the Agriculture Department in collaboration with the district administration and other departments concerned was undertaking a rigorous drive to check the environmental hazard caused by the burning of paddy straw under which stakeholders were sensitised and educated against the menace. Besides making them aware about the scientific management of stubble, the farmers were also provided requisite machinery and other implements to manage the paddy straw without putting it on fire.
He said habitual offenders and those not paying heed to the repeated requests and appeals were dealt with sternly and were made to pay for polluting the environment and causing damage to their soil and fields.
While environmental compensation of Rs 15,87,500 has already been imposed on 626 violators, the process to fine another 111 offenders was underway. Besides, red entries were made in the khasra girdawari (revenue records) of 571 landowners, who were caught burning stubble.
Of the total 626 cases wherein the environmental compensation has already been imposed, the maximum of 294 cases belonged to Jagraon tehsil where the maximum of 7.35 lakh fine was imposed, followed by 117 cases in Raikot with Rs 2,92,500 fine, 102 cases in Payal with Rs 2.55 lakh fine, 55 cases in Samrala with Rs 1.6 lakh fine, 38 cases in Ludhiana East with Rs 95,000 fine, 17 cases in Khanna with Rs 42,500 fine, and the minimum of three such cases were from Ludhiana West tehsil wherein Rs 7,500 fine was slapped.
The cases of imposing environmental compensation under process included the maximum of 55 in Samrala and 51 in Ludhiana West tehsil.
The cases of red entries in revenue records comprised the maximum of 294 in Jagraon, followed by 117 in Raikot, 102 in Payal, 38 in Ludhiana East, 17 in Khanna and the minimum of three cases were reported from Ludhiana West tehsil. However, no farmer was blacklisted in revenue records in Samrala tehsil so far.
The CAO disclosed that field teams of the Agriculture Department and other departments concerned have visited 2,108 of the total 2,680 farm fire sites reported so far, and no crop residue burning was observed at 1,371 such sites.
Meanwhile, the data compiled by the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) revealed that with two fresh cases reported on Friday, as many as 2,680 farm fires were recorded in the district during this paddy harvest season till date, which were 53.8 per cent less than 5,801 reported here during the corresponding period in 2021 and 38.11 per cent less than 4,330 stubble burning cases spotted in Ludhiana during the same period
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