While the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has imposed over Rs 56 lakh environmental compensation on farmers for burning stubble this season, the total farm fires in the state crossed the 2019 figure for the corresponding period.The figure, however, is lower than last year.
Out of total 47, 409 stubble burning incidents this year, 72 per cent have been recorded in the past nine days from November 1 to November 9.
Where 5,079 fires were reported on November 9, from November 1 to November 9, total 34,285 farm fires were reported which comes to 72 per cent of the total fires reported from September 16 to November 9th (55 days).
On Tuesday, Punjab also crossed the stubble burning figures for the corresponding period in 2019. Punjab had reported 45,334 fires that year till November 9. In 2020, figure for the corresponding period stood at 62,854 stubble fires — 15,000 more as compared to this year.
Over the past five days, the state’s daily farm fire figures have been witnessing a huge jump.
Meanwhile, PPPCB has imposed 56.20 lakh compensation till November 8, out of which Rs 85,000 could be recovered. Maximum fine of Rs 18.67 lakh was imposed in Patiala followed by Tarn Taran and Amritsar where Rs. 10.22 lakh and Rs. 9.32 lakh fine has been imposed, respectively. This environmental compensation has been imposed only on 1,926 cases while the process of imposing fine on 2,885 cases is on.
In 1,358 cases, red entry has been made in the khasra girdawari (crop cultivation register) thereby indicating that the said cultivators have set fields on fire post harvesting.
More than 30,000 sites of stubble burning are yet to be physically visited by the officials as teams are formed in every district of the state which also verifies the fires after a physical visit following the capturing of the fires by the satellite and recorded by Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC), Ludhiana.
Meanwhile, Sangrur district is on the top with 4,762 fires, followed by Ferozepur where 4,505 fires were reported till November 9. Moga also reported 4,008 fires, Ludhian recorded 3,746 and Tarn Taran 3,732 fires.
Among the three regions Doaba region (Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr) recorded lowest fires at 3,980 fires (8.3 per cent of the total fires), while in Majha region (Amritsar, Tarn Taran , Gurdasur and Pathankot) reported 6,852 fires (14.45 per cent of the total) were reported and in remaining 15 districts of Malwa region 36,577 fires which comes to the 77 per cent of the total fires were reported. In the Malwa region, barring a couple of districts, all other districts are involved in rampant burning of the stubble. Sangrur and Moga districts are witnessing more than 600 fires daily for the past few days.
PPCB officials said that despite their efforts farmers are not ready to stop the stubble burning.
With increasing stubble burning in the past few days, on Tuesday the Air Quality Index (AQI) of all the major cities of the state recorded ‘very poor’ and ‘poor’ AQI, except Ropar (193) where it was ‘moderate’.
In Patiala (318) and Ludhiana (306), the AQI was ‘very poor’. In Amritsar (270), Khanna (264), Jalandhar (241) Bathinda (231), the AQI was ‘poor’.