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Current Affairs

Stubble burning on rise in Punjab

Date: 24 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

To keep stubble burning in check, Punjab government has appointed 8000 nodal officers across the state.

 

Background

The government has been appointing nodal officers from the past couple of years but they have failed to prevent stubble burning incidents.

 

Details

From district level to the village level, the state has been appointing nodal officers since 2018. This is the fourth such instance before this year’s paddy harvest season.

 

Paddy cultivation in Punjab

  • There are about 10,500 villages where paddy is cultivated out of the 13,000 villages of the state.

  • There are about 8000 nodal officers appointed as some of them handle more than one village.

 

Incidents of stubble fire

  • Before appointment of nodal officers, close to 45,000 cases were recorded in the state. Since 2018, the cases have risen by 26,000.

  • The state has about 76,000 stubble management machines. There are about 19,000 centers for hiring these machines.

  • Despite such availability, the nodal officials have not been successful in mobilizing support for use of these machines.

 

Reason for failure

The officials say that their role is limited to verification of the incident on the ground and reporting it to the government for initiating actions against the farmers and not stopping them.

 

The solution

  • The nodal officials must be appointed during the sowing season for getting in touch with large and medium farmers who can afford these machines.

  • The small and marginal farmers can be funded through help of social organisations, local industries, village panchayat, discretionary funds of the Punjab chief minister and cooperative societies.

  • There should be effort to change the mindset of farmers regarding using fire, as it is the easiest and fastest way.