Stubble Burning: Punjab sees surge in farm fires, reports more than 300 cases in 5 days
Stubble Burning in Punjab: Stubble burning continued unabated in Punjab as the last five days have seen an upward trend in the incidents of farm fires across state.
The incidents of stubble burning have shown an upward trend in the last five days and 57% jump in a day.
From reporting eight cases of stubble burning in Punjab, state witnessed uptick in farm fires cases to 337 cases between September 15 and 26.
But with 57% jump of stubble burning cases in a day, Punjab recorded 337 in last five days of September and 123 of these cases from October 1 as farmers prepare their fields for the next crop after harvesting paddy.
As per the data, Punjab’s Amritsar reported the maximum number of stubble burning cases with 260 farm fires followed by 33 in Tarn Taran and 10 in Kapurthala.
The environmentally harmful practice of stubble burning rice stubble began witnessed uptick trend on September 27, with 21 occurrences reported. Since then, the daily total has been increasing every day. On September 28, a total of 33 farm fire cases were reported followed by double fold in cases on September 29 with 68 stubble burning cases.
With the further upswing, a total of 81 farm fire cases reported on September 30 and 123 events of paddy stubble from different districts on October 1.
Keeping in view the sharp increase in cases of stubble burning in Punjab, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), in collaboration with the Agriculture Department, began monitoring air quality on September 15 and will continue till November 30.
Punjab's vast paddy area of approximately 32 lakh hectares yields over 22 million tonnes of paddy straw annually, of which 120 lakh tonnes is managed through in-situ and ex-situ methods. The burning of paddy straw in Punjab and Haryana contributes to the significant increase in air pollution levels in Delhi and northern regions during October and November.
Earlier, On September 27, in a resolute move to combat stubble-burning, the Punjab Government proposed a State action plan and District-wise action plans for tackling the problem of stubble burning to the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) for the current paddy harvesting season.
Keeping in view the sharp increase in cases of stubble burning in Punjab, Punjab Government commits an overall reduction of more than 50 per cent in paddy stubble burning incidents this year as compared to 2022.
As per the last data of 2022, the five districts of Punjab where the maximum crop-burning incidents were reported were Sangrur, Bathinda, Firozpur, Muktasar and Moga.
Notably, Punjab was severely affected by relentless rainfall and flash floods, resulting in flooded agricultural fields and disruptions to daily life across several areas.
- With inputs from agencies