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Punjab sees nearly 1,900 farm fires on Saturday despite awareness programme

Despite the Punjab government carrying out a massive awareness programme to dissuade farmers from setting crop residue on fire, the state recorded 1,898 stubble burning incidents on Saturday

Stubble burning

Photo: Nitin Kumar

Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Despite the Punjab government carrying out a massive awareness programme to dissuade farmers from setting crop residue on fire, the state recorded 1,898 stubble burning incidents on Saturday.
With this, the cumulative number of farm fire incidents between September 15 and October 29 now stands at 12,112, according to Ludhiana-based Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data.
During the corresponding in 2020 and 2021, the state had reported 23,187 and 8,856 stubble burning incidents respectively.
Out of total 1,898 farm fire incidents on Saturday, Sangrur recorded the highest number of 286 cases, followed by 268 in Patiala, 192 in Tarn Taran, 109 in Barnala, 108 in Bathinda, 105 in Ludhiana and 104 in Ferozepur, as per the data.
The state had reported 1,541 and 1,353 active fire incidents on October 29 in 2020 and 2021 respectively, according to the data.
After Diwali, the state has seen a jump in the number of stubble burning incidents.
The state's total number of farm fires has more than doubled to 12,112 in comparison to 5,617 incidents on October 24, as per the data.
Major farm fire incidents are now being witnessed in the state's Malwa region.
During the period from September 15 to October 29, Tarn Taran reported 2,188 farm fires, followed by 1,327 in Patiala, 1,296 in Amritsar and 1,046 in Sangrur.
In neighbouring Haryana, many places reported air quality indices in 'poor' and 'very poor' categories on Saturday evening.
Faridabad reported its air quality index at 397, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
Among other areas in the state, Manesar reported an AQI at 381, Gurugram 375, Fatehabad 373, Bahadurgarh 363, Charkhi Dadri 353, Bhiwani 327, Sonipat 332, Rohtak 309, Kurukshetra 273 and Ambala 254.
In Punjab, Amritsar, Khanna, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Mandi Gobindgarh and Patiala reported their respective AQIs at 215, 186, 177, 220, 160 and 208, as per the data.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh reported an AQI of 192.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".
Meanwhile, Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal on Saturday asked the government to pay Rs 100 per quintal or Rs 5,000 per acre to a farmer for stubble management.
"We also do not want it to burn it as its smoke reaches our villages first. Therefore, we request the government to support us, otherwise farmers will be forced to burn crop residue," Lakhowal told reporters in Jalandhar.
Earlier in the day in Mohali, Punjab Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan exhorted farmers not to burn stubble so as to keep the environment clean and pollution-free.
Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is one of the reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November.
As the window for Rabi crop wheat is very short after paddy harvest, farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue. Punjab generates around 180 lakh tonne of paddy straw annually.
Punjab recorded 71,304 such fire incidents in 2021, 76,590 in 2020, 55,210 in 2019, 50,590 in 2018, 45,384 in 2017 and 81,042 in 2016.

(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 29 2022 | 10:45 PM IST

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