No let-up in farm fires, 14 reported from border belt : The Tribune India

No let-up in farm fires, 14 reported from border belt

No let-up in farm fires, 14 reported from border belt

Picture for representational purpose only.



Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 15

Despite hundreds of crores spent on sensitising farmers on stubble-burning and its harmful effects, the state today witnessed 14 farm fire incidents. Interestingly, all of them were reported from border areas.

Teams to assess ground situation.

We have dispatched our teams to assess the ground situation and apprise the officials concerned. Karunesh Garg, PPCB Member Secy

Officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) said of 14 incidents, 11 were reported in Amritsar and three in Tarn Taran.

Karunesh Garg, member secretary, PPCB, said, “We have dispatched our teams to assess the ground situation and apprise the officials concerned.”

Officials of the Agriculture Department said they would create more awareness this time and “low yield has nothing to do with in-situ management of crop residue”.

“From September 15 onwards, we will have 8,000 officials in the field and 2,000 staffers will be monitoring farm fires round the clock,” they added.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal said they would distribute 56,000 machines under in-situ management this season. With this, the total number of machines would increase to 1,46,422 from 90,422.

However, farmers said the number of machines was quite less as compared to the area under paddy cultivation (30 lakh hectares).

The state reported 52,991 farm fires in 2019, 76,590 in 2020 and 71,304 in 2021.

A senior health official said, “Despite spending hundreds of crores on creating awareness, there’s no respite from farm fires. It shows there is ample scope for improvement. Every year, farm fires lead to the deterioration of air quality index.”

#Agriculture #Environment #farm fires #Pollution #Punjab Pollution Control Board PPCB #stubble burning

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