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Punjab logs 2,544 farm fires despite flying squad

2nd highest single-day count this season

Punjab logs 2,544 farm fires despite flying squad

Stubble being burnt in Patiala on Wednesday. RAJESH SACHAR



Tribune News Service

Mohit Khanna

Patiala, November 15

At 2,544, the state today witnessed the second highest count of farm fires in a single day this season. The closing of mandis at certain places in the state and the ideal window period — November 1 to November 20 — for sowing of wheat crop nearing an end have caused panic among farmers, which has reportedly triggered the latest spike in farm fires.

A total of 6,931 farm fires have been reported from the state in the past four days. The state had witnessed 1,776 cases of stubble burning on Tuesday, 1,624 on Monday, while 987 incidents of farm fire were reported on Sunday (Diwali). The highest number of farm fires — 3,230 – was reported November 5.

Bathinda most polluted in state

  • Bathinda remains the most polluted city in the state with an average AQI of 359 followed by Mandi Gobindgarh 284
  • The AQI of Patiala was 234, Jalandhar (228), Ludhiana (164), Khanna (162) and Amritsar (160)

Delhi AQI ‘severe’

  • There is no relief in sight as Delhi and the NCR continue to grapple with ‘severe’ air quality. The average AQI in Delhi reached 401 (severe) on Wednesday, marking the third consecutive day of hazardous conditions.

While 639 incidents of farm fire were reported from the state on November 9, merely six cases of stubble burning were reported on November 10 and 104 cases on November 11.

Bathinda, the most polluted city in the state, saw 356 farm fires, followed by Moga (318), Barnala (264), Sangrur (262), Ferozepur (253), Faridkot (225), Muktsar (180), Fazilka (179), Ludhiana (144), Jalandhar (85), Mansa (83), Patiala (66), Amritsar (29), Malerkotla (28), Tarn Taran (26), Kapurthala (17), SBS Nagar (11), Fatehgarh Sahib (10), and Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur four each.

A total of 30,661 cases of farm fire have been reported from the state from October 1 to November 15, of which 26,875 (87 per cent) were reported in merely 18 days —from October 29 to November 14.

Cases of farm fire had earlier nosedived following a crackdown. As many as 245 FIRs were registered in the state in two days (October 8 and 9) after the Supreme Court directive making the SHO, under the supervision of the DGP and the Chief Secretary, responsible for ensuring an end to stubble burning.

The spike in fire fires has come at a time when a flying squad from the Central Pollution Control Board is visiting 22 districts in the state to check farm fires. The team, which is submitting a daily report to the government, is also interacting with farmers to find out the reasons behind setting paddy residue on fire.

Farmers say they are racing against time to sow wheat before November 20 when the conditions are considered favourable for sowing the crop. To prepare the fields for sowing, they are setting stubble on fire.

Meanwhile, Bathinda, which saw the highest number of stubble burning cases, continues to remain the most polluted city in the state with an average AQI of 359 followed by Mandi Gobindgarh 284. The AQI of Patiala was 234, Jalandhar (228), Ludhiana (164), Khanna (162) and Amritsar (160).

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#Agriculture #Environment #Farm Fires #Pollution


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