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    Punjab, Haryana begin penalising farmers for stubble burning

    Synopsis

    More than 3,700 farm fires have been reported in the two states. Authorities have imposed environmental compensation of over Rs 20 lakh. Officials said they were determined to control pollution, particularly because experts say contaminated air can aggravate the spread of Covid-19.

    Agencies
    In 2019-20, a penalty of Rs 6 crore was imposed on 23,000 farmers in Punjab.
    NEW DELHI: Punjab and Haryana have started penalising farmers who burn harvest residue on fields as air pollution levels rise in northern India, officials said.

    More than 3,700 farm fires have been reported in the two states. Authorities have imposed environmental compensation of over Rs 20 lakh.

    Officials said they were determined to control pollution, particularly because experts say contaminated air can aggravate the spread of Covid-19.

    “We are taking a tough action against farmers who are burning stubble,” said Krunesh Garg, member secretary, Punjab Pollution Control Board. “This year, the arrival of paddy in the market is marginally higher than last year as harvesting started early and hence we are finding more fire incidence than the previous year.”

    To deter farmers, 728 cases have been filed with a total amount of environmental compensation imposed at Rs 19.47 lakh, said Garg. The number of fire incidents reported up to October 13 were 3,113 and in 472 cases the compensation is yet to be imposed. Further, under Section 39 of the Air Act, 10 cases were filed apart from 3 FIRs, according to government data.

    In 2019-20, a penalty of Rs 6 crore was imposed on 23,000 farmers in Punjab.

    In Haryana, the agriculture department had imposed a fine of Rs 5.35 lakh till October 13 with the number of active fires at 650, according to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

    Haryana State Pollution Board member secretary S Narayanan said harvesting started earlier this year and the pollution was getting worse as wind speeds have decreased. “We are trying to ensure that the pollution levels do not rise ahead of the onset of winters,” said Narayanan.

    He said use of diesel generator sets will be banned in Delhi-NCR from October 15 as per the directive of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority. Further, large construction projects including highways and metros will provide undertaking to the state pollution control board that they will adhere to the norms for dust management. Industries too will have to ensure that they use only authorised fuel and adopt pollution control measures, he said.
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    2 Comments on this Story

    Suresh Kamath64 days ago
    These efforts are TOO Little too LATE and such STERN actions SHOULD have been decades back and such ENVIRONMENT RISK should have been AVERTED but for POLITICS being the MAIN ISSUE and NONE worried for the worsening POLLUTION effect on the PEOPLE of the STATE and even the neighboring STATES
    Sjbsh 95 days ago
    The Government should stop buying rice and revert back to traditional crops
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