Stubble burning continues in Amritsar

Amritsar (Punjab): Despite the deterioration in air quality in New Delhi and the adjoining areas, farmers in Amritsar continue to burn paddy-stubble and further deteriorate air quality, despite an order of prohibition.

Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha said, “According to the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court the Punjab government tried to spread awareness on how to incorporate paddy straw in different ways. The agriculture department also spoke to the farmers and that worked. Still, some people continued stubble burning and our team of officers and fined them according to the NGT order. One officer has been posted in every village to spread awareness on stubble burning. Things will start improving from now onwards.”

Data by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) showed a decline in the paddy stubble-burning in Punjab this Kharif season.

The data from the PPCB reflects that 7503 cases of stubble-burning have been reported until Friday this year. During the corresponding periods in the last two years, there were 13,364 and 19,879 cases of farm burning.

The report by the pollution control board shows that Amritsar witnessed a slight dip in stubble-burning cases. A little more than 700 incidents have been recorded this year as compared to 785 last year and little lesser than 1000 in 2016.

The decline can be attributed to various factors, including awareness and farmers adhering to governmental policies in mitigating the farm fires.

Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan expressed concerns over the increase in air pollution levels in Delhi and its neighbouring cities and assured that the Centre will make all efforts to curb the menace.

“This time the Central government had appointed 41 teams from the Central Pollution Control Board to do field study of four cities- Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugrama and Haryana in order to curb the issue from the grass root level We will make efforts to curb the issue of air pollution,” the minister told reporters earlier in the day.