Bathinda, November 29
The Bathinda district has a witnessed a drastic decrease in farm fire incidents.
According to the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) data, Bathinda district has till date reported 2,970 farm fires in this season. Last year, 4,592 farm fires were reported in the district.
Roped in industries to collect stubble
To tackle stubble burning, the Bathinda administration had tied up with industries in the district that collect stubble from fields and use it as a raw material in their units. This has also helped reduce the number of farm fires.
The PPCB has constituted teams and deputed coordinators in the district to ensure that the farmers do not set their farms afire. A nodal officer has been deployed in each village, who intimates coordinators in case of a farm fire in any village. But it seems despite all this, farmers continue to burn stubble.
To tackle stubble burning, the Bathinda administration had tied up with industries in the district that collect stubble from fields and use it as a raw material in their units. This has also helped reduce the number of farm fires, but the exact picture will be clear only at the end of the harvesting season.
“This time in the region, there are a lot of ex-situ bailers working. Due to the high price of coal, the industry has extensively used paddy straw as fuel and some farmers had minted money. Now, many farmers have purchased balers and are selling stubble as a fuel to the industry,” an Agriculture Department official said.
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) takes the help of satellite imaging for identification of sites where the stubble is set on fire. After getting the images, a team is sent to the spot to ascertain the area on which stubble has been set afire.
Through these satellite images, the PPCB receives coordinates of the site and sends a team to the spot for measuring the area since the amount of fine depends on the area. The site coordinates are also sent to the Revenue Department to ascertain ownership details.
The team then prepares a report and submits it with the SDM office from where it comes to the PPCB for taking further action.
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