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Punjab sees another hike in farm fires; claims 30% drop in stubble burning

Punjab sees another hike in farm fires; claims 30% drop in stubble burning

This is 27 per cent less when compared to 55,573 crop residue incidents reported in the corresponding period last year, as per the data.

In another major hike in stubble burning incidents, Punjab on Friday witnessed 3,916 farm fires -– the highest so far this season, even as as the state government said such cases have come down by about 30 per cent as compared to last year.

With the fresh addition, the total number of farm fire incidents recorded between September 15 and November 11 rose to 40,677, according to Ludhiana-based Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data.

This is 27 per cent less when compared to 55,573 crop residue incidents reported in the corresponding period last year, as per the data.

The state had reported 69,333 such incidents during the same period in 2020, according to the data.

Of the farm fire incidents on Friday, Bathinda saw 523 cases, the highest number in the state, followed by 446 in Moga, 434 in Muktsar, 385 in Fazilka, and 305 in Ferozepur.

The state had seen 2,971 and 4,156 active fire incidents on November 11 in 2020 and 2021, respectively, as per the data.

Despite complaints from neighbouring states, including Delhi, farmers continue to set crop residue on fire in order to clear fields for sowing the next crops, mostly wheat and vegetables.

The state government issued a statement crediting itself for the reduction in farm fires, attributing it to various initiatives it took to curb the practice.

Chairing a meeting with the officials, Punjab Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua directed them to encourage farmers not to burn stubble, according to an official release.

During the meeting, the deputy commissioners claimed that every fire incident shown by the satellite system is not correct. They said that the straw baling has been done on a large scale in the state and even at farms where small incidents of fire happened after baling were reported as full cases of fire incidents.

The chief secretary issued directions to the agriculture department to ensure that the money for the subsidised machinery is sent into the accounts of beneficiaries by November 30.

On the other hand, the Haryana government said that in the last 24 hours, a very few incidents of stubble burning were reported in state, terming the development a success of its efforts.

An official spokesperson, citing a recent report released by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), said the incidents of stubble burning in Haryana have come down by 25 per cent this year.

The spokesperson attributed the reduction to the state government’s awareness campaign and incentive of Rs 1,000 per acre offered to farmers, as well as other initiatives.

He said that Rs 50 per quintal in incentive and subsidy on straw management equipment is also being given to the farmers for making stubble bales.

He also said if any farmer takes the stubble bales to ethanol plants set up in Karnal and Panipat, he is given an incentive of Rs 2,000 per acre. If farmer brings the stubble to Gaushalas, then an incentive of Rs 1,500 is given.

Not only this, the government also gives up to 10 lakh to a panchayat for not burning stubble in the red zone area, said the official, adding that last year, the government allocated Rs 216 crore for stubble management.

The state government has given more than 72,000 machines to farmers for crop residue management, he said, adding that it has set a target of taking the number to 80,000 this year.

Comments (1)

  1. What’s going wrong with Punjab’s stubble management |

    […] “Instead of telling farmers the bad effects of burning stubble, we need to tell them how it can benefit cattle and fields,” says Dr Dhaliwal. In in-situ method, every machine must be utilised to its maximum capacity as, at present, a majority of these machines are highly under-utilised, says an agriculture officer. ©Indian Express Also Read : Punjab sees another hike in farm fires claims 30 drop in stubble burning […]

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