Air quality commission hails Ludhiana district for dip in stubble-burning cases : The Tribune India

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Air quality commission hails Ludhiana district for dip in stubble-burning cases

Air quality commission hails Ludhiana district for dip in stubble-burning cases

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Tuesday hailed the efforts of Ludhiana district administration in ensuring drastic cut in the stubble burning cases last year.



Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, February 7

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Tuesday hailed the efforts of Ludhiana district administration in ensuring drastic cut in the stubble burning cases last year.

In a record of sorts, the district had logged the lowest farm fires in three years during the Kharif, commonly known as paddy harvesting season, in 2022.

The district had recorded 2,682 stubble burning cases last season, which were 54 per cent less than 5,817 incidents of crop residue that were spotted here in 2021. Also, 2022 had remained much safer than 2020 when 4,330 fire events were registered in Ludhiana.

Heaping praises on the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Surabhi Malik during the interaction with all DCs in the state in the presence of the Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua and other senior government functionaries, the CAQM chairperson Dr MM Kutty exhorted other district heads to learn from the action plan adopted by Ludhiana and replicate the same in their respective districts to check the rising menace of stubble burning.

Malik briefed the CAQM chairperson about the steps taken by the district administration for crop residue management in the district. “We followed the three-pronged strategy of awareness, education and enforcement to check the age-old practice of stubble burning, which showed remarkable results,” the DC shared, while stating that the entire district machinery, especially the Agriculture department, led by the Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) Dr Amanjit Singh remained out in the fields during the entire paddy harvesting season to motivate the farmers against burning of crop residue.

Malik told The Tribune that the sustained campaign against the stubble burning by way of educating the farmers and spreading awareness against the ill-effects of putting the crop residue to fire and motivating the stakeholders to adopt scientific management of paddy straw turned out to be a great success and resulted in sharp decline in the last season’s farm fires, which were not only lowest in three years but almost 54 per cent less than 5,817 crop residue burning cases reported in 2021 and around 26 per cent less than 4,330 fire events recorded here in 2020.

She appreciated the efforts put in by the officials of the district administration, led by the SDMs, and those from the Agriculture Department, headed by the CAO Dr Amanjit Singh to check and control the stubble burning cases.

“All-out efforts were made to aware and educate the farmers besides motivating and facilitating them for in-situ and ex-situ paddy straw management by providing them requisite machinery and tools, which led to the desired results,” the DC said, while adding that the habitual offenders, who failed to pay heed to the repeated requests and warnings, had to be dealt with sternly for checking the environmental pollution.

Divulging the statistics, compiled by the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) from September 15 to November 30 last, the CAO, Dr Amanjit Singh, revealed that last season’s stubble burning cases were even less than 3,239 farm fires recorded in the district in 2017 and a record high of 7,697 incidents of crop residue burning, which were spotted in Ludhiana during 2016.

However, last year’s count was slightly high than 2,532 farm fires logged in the district in 2019 and 2,481 stubble burning cases reported here in 2018.

While the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s home district Sangrur had remained the worst-hit with the maximum of 5,239 farm fires this season, the border district of Pathankot had turned out to be the safest with a single stubble burning case last year.

“The sustained campaign against stubble burning will continue in future as well and will remain a continuous process to keep a check on environment pollution and ensure that the residents breathe clean and fresh air.” Surabhi Malik, Deputy Commissioner.

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