Stubble burning cases see a spike in Punjab, 350 cases recorded so far - Hindustan Times
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Stubble burning cases see a spike in Punjab, 350 cases recorded so far

By, Patiala
Oct 04, 2022 02:08 AM IST

As per the data provided by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), with 284 cases, Amritsar has reported the maximum number of farm fires so far while Tarn Taran, with 39 cases, stands at the second place. On Monday alone, the state witnessed 75 cases out of which 54 were reported from Amritsar and 12 from Tarn Taran. Ferozepur, Patiala and Gurdaspur districts reported two cases each on the day.

As many as 350 cases of stubble burning have been reported from Punjab over the last two weeks, with majority of the incidents being reported two border districts of the Majha belt -- Amritsar and Tarn Taran.

A farmer burning paddy straw in his field at Jandiala Guru near Amritsar in Punjab. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
A farmer burning paddy straw in his field at Jandiala Guru near Amritsar in Punjab. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

As per the data provided by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), with 284 cases, Amritsar has reported the maximum number of farm fires so far while Tarn Taran, with 39 cases, stands at the second place.

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On Monday alone, the state witnessed 75 cases out of which 54 were reported from Amritsar and 12 from Tarn Taran. Ferozepur, Patiala and Gurdaspur districts reported two cases each on the day.

On October 2, Amritsar recorded 64 cases while a day before, the district recorded 39 cases. So far, 80% of the state’s stubble burning cases in the state have been reported from Amritsar which falls in the Majha belt, where harvesting starts early.

With farm fires picking steam, the air quality index (AQI) in these districts, which remained good during rains last week, has also started deteriorating. On Monday, Amritsar’s AQI stood at 138 while that of industrial town Ludhiana was 104, and Jalandhar was at 119.

In 2021, Punjab had recorded 71,304 cases of stubble burning during the kharif season. In 2021, Sangrur district with 8,006 cases had the highest number of stubble burning incidents, followed by Moga with 6,515 cases, Ferozepur with 6,288 and Ludhiana with 5,817 cases. Amritsar and Tarn Taran had reported 2,175 and 4,117 cases respectively.

The PPCB with the help of Punjab remote sensing institute, had started a satellite survey from September 15.

A senior official of the Amritsar district administration, on the condition of anonymity, said no official dares to act against farmers for fear of protest by farmer unions.

PPCB chairman Adarsh Pal said, “We have been continuously sharing the data with the district administrations concerned for action.”

Meanwhile, members of the national monitoring committee from Delhi also held a meeting with the Punjab chief secretary to control stubble burning cases in the state. The chief secretary VK Januja also held meetings with the deputy commissioners and PPCB officials and asked them to work for reducing stubble burning by promoting in-situ and ex-situ handling of straw.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vishal Rambani is an assistant editor covering Punjab. A journalist with over a decade of experience, he writes on politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues. He has several investigative stories to his credit.

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