Stubble burning begins in Punjab: 297 cases in 5 days; farmers blame authorities for no solution

By: |
September 26, 2020 3:33 PM

The burning of millions of tons of this crop waste leads to air pollution and heavy smog in neighbouring cities, namely Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad.

Crop stubble burning is considered as a low-cost method for getting rid of crop waste and decreases time for the next sowing cycle.

The issue of stubble burning has surfaced again. In the last five days, 297 incidents of stubble burning were reported between September 21 and 25 in Punjab. Informing about the incidents, Punjab Remote Sensing Centre Director Dr Brijender Pateriya told ANI that maximum number of incidents took place in Tarn Taran, Amritsar and Patiala region of Punjab. He also said that 197 such incidents were reported during this period last year.

“297 stubble burning incidents reported between 21st and 25th September this year in Punjab; 197 such incidents were reported during this period last year. Maximum incidents reported from Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Patiala,” Pateriya told ANI.

The burning of millions of tons of this crop waste leads to air pollution and heavy smog in neighbouring cities, namely Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad. While the governments — state and Centre — claim that they are taking initiatives to stop stubble burning, farmers on the ground complain of no cooperation from the authorities, leaving them with no other option but to clear their farm by burning crop stubble.

Speaking about the beginning of stubble burning in Punjab, Jeet Singh, a farmer, told ANI: “Farmers don’t wish to burn stubble, but we are compelled to do it as the government is not providing us with a solution.” He further said that the farmers had asked District administration to take the stubble and dump them, but the government didn’t take any action. “So, finally after 10 days, we burnt it,” he added.

Another farmer had mentioned that the Punjab Chief Minister and DC Amritsar had promised the farmers that they will compensate Rs 2,500 per acre but there is no action on it. Crop stubble burning is considered as a low-cost method for getting rid of crop waste and decreases time for the next sowing cycle.

Reports suggest that as soon as the stubble burning incident surfaced earlier this week, the Environment Pollution Control Authority wrote to the chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to resolve the stock situation and take action accordingly.

Meanwhile, a report by The Indian Express noted that scientists have come up with a new method for decomposing crop waste. As per the report, PUSA Decomposer containing fungi tablets can be used to decomposition. The method is expected to be low-cost and is expected to get rid of crop residue at a faster rate when compared to burning.

Today, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Union Minister Prakash Javadekar over the stubble burning issue. He has mentioned in his letter about the usage of a technology developed by ICAR-Indian Agriculture Research Institute in Delhi and nearby states.

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