‘Guardians of environment’: Gurdaspur administration honours farmers staying away from farm fires : The Tribune India

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‘Guardians of environment’: Gurdaspur administration honours farmers staying away from farm fires

‘Guardians of environment’: Gurdaspur administration honours farmers staying away from farm fires

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Ravi Dhaliwal

Gurdaspur, November 21

When the security guards of Deputy Commissioner Himanshu Aggarwal tried to check the antecedents of Kulwant Singh, a farmer from Tatle village here, he flaunted a document, following which he was immediately welcomed inside the office.

Incentivising growers a good option

Farmers set paddy stubble on fire because they have no incentives to not do so. By this initiative, we are trying to incentivise progressive farmers. I have instructed the heads of all departments to treat farmers possessing the certificates on a priority basis. Himanshu Aggarwal, Gurdaspur DC

On his part, the bureaucrat offered the farmer tea and asked him about the nature of his work. Kulwant told the officer that the transformer in his field had been malfunctioning for the last few days. The DC called up the XEC and by evening, the fault had been rectified.

The document that facilitates the entry of farmers like Kulwant into government offices is called the ‘Watawaran De Rakhwale’ (Guardians of environment) certificate. This is given to farmers who have either stayed away from stubble burning or have given a written assurance to do so.

Nearly 200 agriculturists are the proud possessors of the certificate in Gurdaspur district. This is considered to be a novel initiative in the government’s fight against stubble burning. A brainchild of Deputy Commissioner Himanshu Aggarwal, the idea is being appreciated by all and sundry.

“Farmers set stubble on fire because they have no incentives to not do so. I have instructed the heads of all departments to treat farmers possessing the certificates on a priority basis. Yesterday, an octogenarian in possession of such a certificate came to my office and said some people were eyeing the property of his son who was living abroad. I asked the SSP to look into the matter. Now, everything has been sorted out,” the Deputy Commissioner said.

Officials admit instead of fining farmers or filing FIRs against them, incentives should be given as they are more effective.

“The initiative is working. While last year we had more than 850 farm fires, the figure has been pegged at 365 this year so far,” said an officer.

The Deputy Commissioner has also appointed 355 nodal officers as in-charges of a cluster of three of four villages. These officers have been given permission to use hooters and flash bulbs on their vehicles.

“This gives them a sense of authority. Moreover, farmers think they are dealing with senior officers and abide by their directions,” Deputy Commissioner Aggarwal said.

Panches and sarpanches of the district’s villages were also recently administered an oath to avoid burning crop residue in their fields.

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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.

#Agriculture #Environment #Farm Fires #Gurdaspur #Pollution


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