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Posted at: Nov 19, 2019, 6:29 AM; last updated: Nov 19, 2019, 9:37 AM (IST)

Stubble burning in Punjab more than 2018: Environment secy

Stubble burning in Punjab more than 2018: Environment secy
A farmer burns paddy stubble in a village on the outskirts of Amritsar on November 2, 2019. PTI file

New Delhi, November 18

Stubble burning had gone up in Punjab compared to last year, while in Haryana, it had reduced to some extent, Environment Secretary C K Mishra said on Monday.

Replying to a question on the issue of stubble burning after addressing a press conference here following a high-level meeting over tackling air pollution, Mishra said there were several administrative issues that required serious attention.

“Haryana has reduced stubble burning to some extent but the Punjab fires are more than last year. There are administrative issues which we seriously need to attend to,” he said.

Tractors and machines to control stubble burning were distributed among farmers and the government was trying to analyse its impact, he added.

“The distribution of tractors and equipment to control stubble burning has happened. It has happened less in Punjab. In Haryana, the target has been achieved. We are also trying to analyse that now, since we have completed the cycle of distribution, what is the impact,” Mishra said, adding that despite the step, stubble burning was still taking place.

He also pointed out that action was taken against the organisations found violating directions.

“We have taken action not just against private persons, but also against government organisations,” Mishra said.

Elaborating further, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Chairman SPS Parihar said environmental compensations (EC) of up to Rs 1 crore were imposed on the agencies found violating pollution norms, especially those concerned with construction and demolition and management of waste disposal.

“Post the ECs, we found that the performances still needed to be improved and violations by agencies were still taking place, so prosecution notices have been served, beyond the ECs. The agencies that have been issued these notices have to respond as regards why should we not proceed against them,” he said. — PTI

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