With the arrival of paddy harvesting season, 385 farm fires — lit to burn out stubble after the crop is harvested — have already been reported in Punjab, leading SAFAR to issue a warning that air quality in the national capital is likely to dip to ‘poor’ by Monday.
So far, 385 farm fires have been reported in the past six days in 11 out of 22 districts of Punjab, mainly from Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts in Majha region. Harvesting of an early variety of Basmati rice had started two weeks back in the state.
In the corresponding period last year, 202 farm fires were recorded, while in 2018, there were only 15 stubble burning incidents recorded during the paddy harvesting season between September 21 to September 26.
According to information available with the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) in Ludhiana, 88 field fires were reported in Punjab on Saturday.
“Farm fires have begun in Amritsar, Punjab, and neighbouring border regions and are likely to influence the city’s air quality,” SAFAR said.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government has not only appointed nodal officers to check stubble burning, but also distributed around 75,000 machines over the past three years to manage stubble.
“We have sensitised farmers and they must understand their responsibility too as custom hiring centres of the stubble management machinery have also been set up across the state,” said Director, Punjab Agriculture, Dr Sutantar Kumar Airi.
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