To check the menace of stubble burning in Haryana that causes air pollution, the state Pollution Control Board Friday announced a multi-pronged strategy which includes satellite monitoring, education of farmers and taking punitive measures under the law. The state government has, on the initiative of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, also formulated an action plan for utilization of paddy straw.
While stating this here, a spokesman of the Pollution Control Board said during the year 2016, till date, 48 cases of wheat straw burning have been approved for prosecution. Also, during the year 2015, the Board had filed 46 complaint cases against the violators in the Special Environment Courts at Kurukshetra and Faridabad, out of which 24 cases have already been decided against the violators and 22 cases are pending.
He said the Haryana government had issued a notification dated September 16, 2003 under section 19 (5) of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 prohibiting the burning of left over straw in whole of Haryana. The HSPCB is enforcing the same through its Regional Officers and is filing cases against the violators with photographic and video graphic evidences in the Special Environment Court on a regular basis.
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He said all Deputy Commissioners have also been advised to enforce the above provisions stringently and issue necessary directions and statutory warnings to all the Revenue field officials like BDPO’s, Tehsildars and Patwaris to instruct the Sarpanches and Panches in the villages for persuading and educating the farmers on the ban and on the harmful effects of such acts.
All DCs have also been advised to direct the ‘Gram Sachivs’ and Patwaris to bring all the incidents of burning of wheat stubble or paddy straw and other agricultural waste in the open fields to his notice within 30 minutes of the occurrence of such incidents and in case they fail to do so, without sufficient cause, it shall be treated as dereliction of duty and disciplinary action be initiated against them.
He said the Haryana State Pollution Control Board has already engaged the Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC) to monitor the seasonal rice stubble burning in areas where rice is grown. It has now decided to get the incidences of burning of wheat stubble monitored through HARSAC for the year 2017 in 10 major wheat growing districts of Haryana has sought the daily report from HARSAC in the form of satellite imageries and other remote evidences on the activities captured in the State for effective monitoring and enforcement purposes.