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With 206 farm fires, Punjab records highest cases in a day

With 206 farm fires, Punjab records highest cases in a day

Tarn Taran topped the charts in Punjab with 73 farm fire cases followed by 39 in Amritsar. Both these districts have been the worst performers in terms of stubble management so far

The cases of paddy residue burning are on the rise with each passing day. As per the record, the state has witnessed the highest number of stubble-burning incidents during the kharif season so far with 206 farm fires reported from across the state on Sunday. As many as 169 paddy residue-burning incidents were reported in the state on October 15.

Tarn Taran topped the districts with 73 farm fire incidents on Sunday, followed by 39 incidents in Amritsar. Both these districts have been the worst performers in terms of stubble management so far. While Amritsar tops the chart with 561 farm fire incidents so far, a total of 318 incidents of paddy residue-burning incidents were reported in Tarn Taran.

However, an official of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) maintains that the number of stubble-burning incidents has witnessed a considerable dip as compared to previous years.

PPCB chairman Adarsh Pal Vig said while 206 cases of farm fires were witnessed in the state on Sunday, 429 and 589 incidents of stubble burning were reported on the same day in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

The incidents have witnessed a rise but still remain 50% less as compared to previous years. “I strongly believe that collective efforts of various departments of the government to convince the farmers for in-situ and ex-situ management are showing results,” said Vig.

According to the pollution control board official, Ludhiana, Moga, Patiala, Bathinda and Ferozepur are among the most notorious districts, according to figures of 2020 and 2021. Chief minister Bhagwant Mann’s home district Sangrur was the worst offender in 2020 with 9,705 cases, while in 2021, it had 8,006 cases.

On the other hand, farmer leader Harmeet Singh Kadian, president of BKU, Kadian, said stubble burning would pick up in the coming days.

“Due to inclement weather, the harvesting of crops has been postponed. Now, farmers are left with little window to prepare the field for the rabi crop. This will lead to a rise in residue-burning incidents,” said Kadian.

He claimed that both the Centre and the state governments have backtracked from their promise of providing cash incentives for stubble management to small and marginal farmers. He maintained that the union will protest any police action against farmers.

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