Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan on Saturday said the state has so far reported stubble burning over 7.49 lakh hectares, about five per cent lower than what it had witnessed in corresponding period last year. 

“Five per cent less stubble burning area is reported this year in the state with the effective management of crop residue and concerted efforts to sensitise farmers,” said Mahajan in a release.

During a virtual meeting with senior officers, deputy commissioners, and senior superintendent of police (SSPs), she expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the state government to end the hazardous practice.

Mahajan directed officials to further intensify their efforts to eradicate the menace.

She said about 137 lakh metric tonnes of paddy has so far arrived in the mandis, which is 33 per cent higher than the previous year.

She said the district administration should enforce the instructions strictly to ensure zero stubble burning in coming days.

The total straw burning area this year was 7.49 lakh hectares as compared to 7.90 lakh hectares last year, which is 5.23 per cent lower, she said.

Additional Chief Secretary Development Anirudh Tewari told the chief secretary that on October 30 this year, 2,799 cases of straw burning were reported as against 3,135 last year.

In Bathinda district, 202 cases have been reported this year as compared to 343 last year.

Similarly, in Ferozepur 290 cases of farm fires have been reported against 328 last year.

Taking stock of the procurement, lifting and payment for paddy, the chief secretary was told that of total Rs 22,753.44 crore, payment of Rs 22,506.10 crore has been made to farmers so far.


Source: October 31, 2020, Hindustan Times