The Union Environment Ministry today said active paddy residue burning events in Punjab, Haryana and eight NCR districts of Uttar Pradesh had “come down significantly” this year and fewer fire counts had been reported as compared to last year.

“As many as 1,795 fire counts were reported in past one month as compared to 4,854 instances in the corresponding period in 2020,” officials said, adding that Punjab had reported substantial reduction. Of these, 663 fields have been inspected by enforcement agencies and officials concerned of the respective states and environmental compensation imposed in 252 cases, they said.

As per the report based on the protocol framed by ISRO for the Commission for Air Quality Management, paddy residue burning events have been reduced by 69.49 per cent in Punjab, by 68 per cent in Haryana and by 47.61 per cent in the eight NCR districts of UP during the one-month period compared to the same period last year, they added. During the one-month period of the current year, the total reported residue burning events in Punjab are 1,286 as against 4,216 for the same period last year. In Haryana, the reported fire incidents are 487 as against 1,569 for the corresponding year last year while in UP, incidents reported during this period are 22 as against 42 for the corresponding period last year. No fire counts have been reported from Delhi and two NCR districts of Rajasthan.

The first paddy residue burning was reported on September 16 in Punjab, September 28 in Haryana and September 18 in the NCR area of Uttar Pradesh.

The major hotspots of paddy residue burning in the state of Punjab are Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Patiala and Ludhiana. The four districts account for 72 per cent of stubble burning incidents.

“The commission is taking up with the Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on a daily basis to ensure strict implementation of the action plan and the framework to curb paddy residue burning events. The commission has also held a series of meetings with state officials,” they said.

Harvesting peak yet to come: Centre

Harvesting will be at its peak in the next few weeks and the state governments are taking steps as per the plan of action to improve the efficacy of enforcement and implementation to tackle the problem of stubble burning, the central government has said.

Daily monitoring of cases

The commission is coordinating with the Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on a daily basis to ensure strict implementation of the action plan. Official

Major hotspots

Amritsar | Tarn Taran Patiala | Ludhiana

663 fields inspected

252 cases compensation imposed

Source: 16 October, 2021, The Tribune