Claiming that there was no option left, farmers of Mansa’s Aklia village Sunday went against the directions of the state government and burnt their fields collectively after wheat harvesting. Following this, villagers in Samao have also announced that they would do the same on May 2.
Led by Union leader of Bharti Kisan Union(Dakaunda) Raj Singh Aklia, villagers collectively burnt over 4,000 acres as a mark of protest against stubble burning. Unfazed, the administration stated that all the farmers who had burnt their fields will be fined at the rate Rs 2,500 per acre as fine set by the Punjab Pollution Control Board. It also added that teams will reach Samao well in advance to prevent villagers from burning their fields.
“Since the agriculture university has not given us any option, we have no choice but to burn the fields post harvest as we cannot plough our fields repeatedly to avoid burning. Even after that, the field is not 100 per cent clean. So they need to understand our point of view as well,” said Raj Singh.
When contacted, DC Mansa Dharampal Gupta said, “I am aware of this incident and my officers are on the job. They are in the village to calculate the exact area which has been burnt and everyone will be fined at the rate of Rs 2,500 per acre. We will not spare them. Otherwise it will set a wrong example. We are really working hard in making farmers aware not to burn their fields as it creates pollution and also reduces soil fertility. It is sad that farmers did not listen to our repeated requests which we made through various means.”