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Punjab govt suspends four agriculture officers for dereliction of duty

The Punjab government suspended four officials of the Agriculture Department in the wake of stubble burning incidents in their areas, according to an official release

Stubble burning

Photo: Nitin Kumar

Press Trust of India Chandigarh
The Punjab government on Sunday suspended four officials of the Agriculture Department in the wake of stubble burning incidents in their areas, according to an official release.
The development came as the share of stubble burning in Delhi's PM2.5 pollution rose to 26 per cent, the highest this year, with forecasters saying that slow wind speed and an increase in stubble burning, especially in Punjab, may make it worse.
Following directions of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal placed four agriculture officers under suspension with immediate effect for dereliction of duty, the release stated.
The suspended officials are Chief Agriculture Officer (Sangrur) Harbans Singh, Agriculture Officer (Samana in Patiala) Satish Kumar, Agriculture Officer (Chohla Sahib in Tarn Taran) Harpal Singh and Agriculture Officer (Patti in Tarn Taran) Bhupinder Singh, it said.
Sangrur, Patiala and Tarn Taran, among various other districts, have been witnessing farm fires for the last several days.
On Sunday, Sangrur recorded 323 farm fires, the highest in the state, followed by 249 in Patiala. Tarn Taran saw 110 stubble burning incidents, according to Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data.
The Punjab government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against stubble burning and has been organising campaigns across the state to sensitise farmers not to burn stubble, the release said.
The CM had categorically asked agriculture officers to work at the grassroots level to ensure crop residue is not set ablaze, it said.
But the government found these officers were not adhering to the directions, it added.
During the suspension period, these four officials will report to the office of the director of Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, Mohali, according to the release.
The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) reported 1,761 farm fires in Punjab on Sunday, 1,898 on Saturday, 2,067 -- the highest so far this season -- on Friday and 1,111 on Thursday.
The Commission for Air Quality Management had on Thursday said the increased incidents of stubble burning in Punjab this year "is a matter of serious concern".

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Oct 30 2022 | 8:47 PM IST

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