Millennium Post

More stubble burning recorded this year: EPCA

More stubble burning recorded this year: EPCA

NEW DELHI: Expressing his concern over the menace of increasing air pollution across the country, Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) Chairman Bhure Lal on Friday said that more straw burning has been recorded this year.

Lal criticised the farmers who continue to burn stubble, instead of turning crop residue into useful products. While addressing a workshop on 'Bulk utilization of crop residue for economic and environmental sustainability' here, he said: "Farmers know that stubble burning is harmful yet they do not turn it into economic good. However, the new generation of farmers are opening up for a change and are trying to utilise the residue in various forms, mainly fertilizer."

The recent report issued by Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) in October, however, stated that paddy stubble burning incidents in Punjab have significantly declined this Kharif season.

The data from PPCB stated that 7,503 cases of stubble burning were reported in the state till October 26 this year. There were 13,364 and 19,879 cases recorded during the same period in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

According to PPCB report on district wise stubble burning, Amritsar witnessed 733 incidents till October 26 as compared to 785 and 958 in 2017 and 2016 respectively. In Fatehgarh Sahib town, which is the second least populous district of Punjab after Barnala, 226 stubble burning incidents took place.

The organisation recorded 589 incidents in 2017 and 1,126 in 2016. In Tarn Taran district, which has the largest sarovar (holy tank) in the world, also recorded a steep decline with 1,129 cases of crop burning residue.

The region saw 1,507 cases in 2017 and 1980 in 2016. Patiala also marked improvement with only 936 cases this season whereas there were 1,303 and 1,718 cases recorded in 2017 and 2016 respectively during the same period.

Sri Muktsar Sahib also recorded a significantly less incident in 2018 with numbers going down to 576. In 2017, the state recorded 977 cases and 1,612 the previous year.

Bhure Lal also touched upon the subject of the importance of changing cropping pattern saying, "If Indian farmers do not change their cropping pattern, they will face problems".

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