Business Standard

Punjab Agri Dept suggests measures to help curb stubble burning by farmers


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
The farmers who are cultivating panchayat land and indulging in stubble burning should be barred from taking panchayat land on lease in future, Punjab's Agriculture Department has suggested.
In this regard, the agriculture department has written to the state's Rural Development and Panchayats Department to curb the illegal practice which is harmful for the environment.
There are nearly 1.37 lakh acres of panchayat land under agriculture, where the practice of stubble burning could be stopped effectively through such measures, Agriculture Secretary Kahan Singh Pannu said.
The Agriculture Department has sent a communique to Panchayats Department for issuing requisite directions in this regardso that farmers cultivating panchayat lands can be apprised about the proposal, which may disqualify them from bidding process of these lands in next auction, in case they indulge in stubble burning after harvesting paddy, he said in an official statement here on Sunday.
Referring tocelebration of 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism's founder, Guru Nanak Dev, in the state, Pannu said that it was our bounden duty to keep Punjab's environment safe and healthy on this pious occasion as millions of devotees from across the globe will be visiting the religious places associated with first Sikh Guru in different parts of the state.
"In reverence to this historic event, besides upholding the ideology of Guru Nanak to protect natural resources, the farmers should refrain from burning of paddy straw which poses serious threat to the environment, soil texture as well as human health," he added.
Emphasising the need to sensitise the farmers holding Panchayat lands against the ill-effects of crop residue burning, Pannu said that the Rural Development and Panchayats Department should launch a massive drive to persuade the farmers to abstain from this practice.
Pannu pointed out that the Agriculture Department had already ordered to impound the combine harvester machines functioning without Super Straw Management System.
He said that no harvester combine shall be allowed to harvest paddy in Punjab without installation of Super Straw Management System which cuts the straw into small pieces, therebyhelping the farmers to manage it without resorting to burning.
Notably, stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana during this time every year is a major cause of air pollution not only in the two states but also in the national capital.

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First Published: Sep 29 2019 | 5:40 PM IST

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