Bathinda, November 6
There seems no let-up in stubble burning incidents in Bathinda as 209 cases were reported in the district on Monday, taking the total count to 1,086.
Experts were of the view that the delay in paddy harvesting had narrowed the winter crop-sowing window that could lead to more stubble-burning cases as farmers would get less time to clear fields in the coming days.
The air quality index (AQI) in Bathinda has also worsened due to the rise in farm fires. Sources said alternative solutions to stubble burning have also failed to gain mass acceptance. According to agriculture experts, stubble-burning is causing multiple problems, including adverse affect on the soil health.
Data from the Punjab Remote Sensing Authority showed that farmers were now resorting to stubble burning in the fertile Malwa belt. Jasvir Singh, a farmer, said, “The farmers are also in favour of protecting the environment but the process of managing stubble involves a huge cost. We want the state government to extend financial help.”
To tackle this practice, the administration had tied up with industries, which 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.
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