68% of Punjab's farm fires in Amritsar district, no FIR yet : The Tribune India

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68% of Punjab's farm fires in Amritsar district, no FIR yet

68% of Punjab's farm fires in Amritsar district, no FIR yet

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Tribune News Service

Manmeet Singh Gill

Amritsar, October 3

Though the government has imposed a ban on burning of paddy residue under Section 144 of the CrPC, no FIR has been registered in the district. This despite the fact that the district has reported the highest number of 381 farm fire incidents in the state. Of the 561 farm fire incidents reported from the state, the district alone accounts for nearly 68 per cent cases.

Similarly, no FIR has been registered in Jalandhar, Patiala, Muktsar, Fazilka, Sangrur, Ropar and some other districts. In Tarn Taran district, which has reported 69 farm fire incidents, only one FIR has been registered against two brothers from Khair Din Ke village.

As per law, the violator is liable to face action under Section 188 of the CrPC. As per the orders of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), burning of crop residue is also a violation of the Section 37 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. In Amritsar, the district administration has so far only imposed an environmental compensation of Rs 2,500 each on 28 farmers in compliance with the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

As per the NGT directions, in case of a farm fire incident, an environmental compensation of Rs 2,500 per acre can be imposed on a small landholder having less than two acres. The penalty for landholders having more than two acres but less than five acres is Rs 5,000 per fire incident. Landowners owning more than five acres are liable to pay Rs 15,000 as environmental compensation.

Lack of strict implementation of laws has emboldened violators as evident from the large number of fire incidents in Amritsar and Tarn Taran. The Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, which monitors farm fires, had first reported six incidents of farm fire in Amritsar on September 16.

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#Agriculture #Environment #Farm Fires #Pollution


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