Farm fires back in Punjab, dozen cases in past 24 hours : The Tribune India

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Farm fires back in Punjab, dozen cases in past 24 hours

PPCB to start monitoring from April 15 | Check overhead wires, PSPCL staff told

Farm fires back in Punjab, dozen cases in past 24 hours

The standing crop lost to a massive fire that broke out at Sivian village in Bathinda district. Tribune photot



Tribune News Service

Aman Sood
Patiala, April 11

Farmers have started to put their wheat stubble on fire with over a dozen cases reported in past 24 hours, even as the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) will start monitoring stubble burning cases from April 15. Every post-wheat season Punjab witnesses around 7,000 to 10,000 cases of farm fires, which gradually increase from April-end and continue till mid-May.

In 2020, the state witnessed 8,500 incidents of wheat straw burning. Despite the PPCB’s appeal, farmers have already started clearing their wheat stubble by resorting to farm fires.

According to information gathered by The Tribune, the actual farm fire incidents in parts of Punjab are around 100. The acutal data is not available as monitoring will start from April 15. “The early sown variety of wheat is already sold in the markets and the farmers, wasting no time at all, have burnt the stubble to prepare their fields for the upcoming paddy season that starts in June,” said an official.

Every year, the district administration levies fines worth crores on erring farmers who resort to wheat stubble burning, but majority of these farmers are yet to pay the environment compensation despite repeated reminders. “Erring farmers, backed by farm unions, refused to deposit the fine and even take officials hostage,” said an official.

“We will keep an eye on farm fires from April 15. As of now, a few farm fires reported in parts of Punjab could be because of short circuits, while some farmers have started clearing their fields for paddy sowing,” said Karunesh Garg, Member Secretary, PPCB.

Meanwhile PSPCL has issued instructions to all chief engineers and field officers to prevent incidents of fire. “The loose wires over the fields will be tightened; the distance between electric poles will be set right,” said a senior PSPCL official.

“A dedicated helpline has also been started to address the farmers’ concern in case of accidental fires,” said the official.

Crop loss in Muktsar

Muktsar: Wheat crop on nearly 20 acres and stubble on 10 acres were gutted in an accidental fire at Lubanianwali village on Ferozepur Road here on Monday. Sources said electric short- circuit was said to be the reason behind the mishap. The alert fire fighters controlled the situation and prevented further loss.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Environment #Pollution #PPCB #pspcl #stubble burning


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