Around threefold rise in farm fires in Haryana this year; air quality dips - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Around threefold rise in farm fires in Haryana this year; air quality dips

By, Karnal
Oct 08, 2023 06:26 AM IST

The figures reveal that Haryana has reported 209 incidents of farm fires from September 25 to October 6, against 74 cases reported in 2022 and 24 in 2021, during the same period

Even as the state government is making efforts to prevent crop burning incidents, Haryana has witnessed around three-fold increase in the cases of farm fires this year so far.

As per the data of the Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC), the state has witnessed 72 cases in the past three days.
As per the data of the Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC), the state has witnessed 72 cases in the past three days.

The figures reveal that Haryana has reported 209 incidents of farm fires from September 25 to October 6, against 74 cases reported in 2022 and 24 in 2021, during the same period.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Ambala and Kurukshetra are leading the tally with 46 and 41 incidents of farm fires, while the number is far less in the two major paddy producing districts of Karnal and Kaithal. As per the data of the Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC), the state has witnessed 72 cases in the past three days.

Burning of paddy residue in October is an old practice in paddy-sowing belts of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh as the farmers after harvesting the crop prefer to burn the crop waste to clear their fields for the sowing of next crop. The burning of crop waste causes severe pollution in Delhi and NCR region during winters due to stable atmospheric conditions and low dispersion of air pollutants.

The sudden surge in incidents of farm fires has now started impacting the air-quality of Delhi and NCR districts of Haryana pushing it to the poor and moderate category from satisfactory a week ago.

The air quality bulletin of the Central Pollution Control Board revealed that the air quality of Ambala, Bahadurgarh, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra and Kaithal is under “poor” category with the air quality index above 200. Even the air quality of several other cities such as Faridabad, Gurugram, Sonepat, Karnal and Fatehabad was also under the moderate category with the AQI between 100 and 200.

However, despite the officials of the state agriculture department taking several measures and acting against the farmers resorting to stubble urning, there is no letup in the cases of farm fires. In Kurukshetra, 70 farmers have been challaned and a fine of 1.72 lakh has been imposed on them for burning stubble. The officials monitoring farm fires at the ground level said the reason behind the surge in the farm fires this year is that harvesting is about one week advance due to advanced procurement from September 25 rather than October 1.

They predict that the incidents of farm fires may continue to rise by the end of this month as the harvesting is at peak in major paddy-producing districts of the state and by the end of this month, harvesting will start in Fatehabad and Sirsa districts.

Director haryana agriculture and farmers welfare department Narhari Banger said, “As per the governments’ plan, directions have been issued to the field staff to take immediate action against the erring farmers. Even the deputy commissioners have been authorised to identify such farmers and stop their benefits of schemes of the agriculture department for at least three years.”

Even Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) chairperson P Raghavendra Rao has advised to stop providing government scheme benefits to erring farmers by preparing a database of the farmers who burn crop waste every year.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Neeraj Mohan is a correspondent, covering Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Panipat and Yamunanagar districts of Haryana.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 23, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On