Most farm fires in Amritsar, Tarn Taran - ECAS Punjab

Most farm fires in Amritsar, Tarn Taran

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Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 22

The two districts in Majha region, Amritsar and Tarn Taran, have reported the maximum number of stubble burning incidents during the ongoing paddy harvesting season in the state at 1,657 and 2,086, respectively.

The figures clearly indicate at the extent of violation of the ban on burning crop residue in fields. However, officials reasoned that figures were high (in comparison to other districts) as harvesting of paddy began early in Majha as compared to Malwa and Doaba. They added that the final figures after the harvesting is over in the entire state would give a clear picture.

Employees of the Agriculture Department claimed that the ongoing protest against the farm Acts had emboldened the farmers. "The farmers know that it will be hard for the government to take strict action against them amid the ongoing protest," said an official of the Agriculture Department.

Also, the figures bring attention to the fact that the government's endeavour of providing machines on subsidy to farmers as an alternative way to manage crop residue seemed to have yielded no result.

Jagjit Singh, a farmer, said, "Despite the claims of the government, it is difficult for the farmers, especially vegetable growers, to prepare fields without burning the residue." He added that the farmers were reluctant because they would have to bear additional monetary burden if they went for alternative ways to manage crop residue.

Tarn Taran Chief Agriculture Officer Kuljit Singh Saini, who also holds an additional charge for Amritar, said, "It's too early to say that the two districts have reported more fire incidents. In other districts, the harvesting is going at a slow pace as compared to Amritsar and Tarn Taran."

from The Tribune

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