Chandigarh: More than 700 farm fires have been recorded so far in Punjab despite the state authorities making several efforts to curb the practice of stubble burning. According to data from the Ludhiana-based Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, the state witnessed four farm fire incidents—two in Amritsar and one each in Ludhiana and Kapurthala on Monday (October 10). From September 15 till October 10, a total of 718 farm fire incidents have been recorded, as per the data.
On the same day in 2020 and 2021, the state had witnessed 244 and 150 farm fires, respectively, according to the data.
The farm fires continued despite the state government assuring more crop residue management machines and launching massive awareness programmes against stubble burning. The stubble burning incidents are expected to rise in coming days as paddy harvesting got delayed by at least 10 days because of rains last month.
A few days ago, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had even held meetings with various farmer bodies and had told them that his government was making all-out efforts for the management of paddy stubble and had urged the farmers to support it for the same while stressing the need for protecting the environment.
Mr. Mann had also said that a total of 1.22 lakh crop residue management machines had been made available for farmers in the current season. A mobile app had also been developed whereby farmers could come to know about the availability of machines for the management of paddy straw within a radius of two-three kilometers.
However, farmers have been demanding Rs 6,000 per acre for stubble management. Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is one of the reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November. As the window for rabi crop wheat is very short after paddy harvest, farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue. Punjab generates around 180 lakh tonnes of paddy straw annually.
The state recorded 71,304 such fire incidents in 2021, 76,590 in 2020, 55,210 in 2019 and 50,590 in 2018 with many districts including Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda and Amritsar witnessing large number of stubble-burning incidents.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or he