An average of 75 field fires daily have been reported in Punjab ever since paddy harvesting started in the state on October 1. Over 400 fires have been reported till October 6 and around 150 farmers have been fined so far despite awareness campaign against stubble-burning in the state.
Sources in the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC), which is under Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), said field fires started around a week back but their number has been increasing for the past five days as paddy harvesting picked up. “We are issuing 70 to 80 field fires alerts daily to the district authorities concerned,” said PRSC sources.
“Around 90 per cent of the total cases of field fires have been reported from Tarn Taran and Amritsar districts because harvesting started there first,” said Gurbakhshish Singh Gill, the in-charge of PRSC.
Earlier, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed the state government to impose a fine of Rs 2,500 for setting two acres land on fire, Rs 5,000 for five acres, Rs 10,000 for 10 acres and Rs 15,000 to 20,000 for big farmers.Around 29 lakh hectares is under paddy cultivation in Punjab, which produces around 200 lakh tonnes of stubble.
Kapurthala farmers to celebrate black Diwali
Farmers of various villages in Kapurthala said they would celebrate black Diwali by burning straws, said farmer Jagtar Singh from Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district. They said burning would not stop till proper machinery was made available.