Chandigarh, Oct 26 (IANS) Punjab has witnessed a steep decline in stubble burning this kharif season, a senior official said on Friday.
Secretary-cum-State Nodal Officer of Anti-Stubble Burning Campaign K.S. Pannu said data from Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) depicted that 3,228 cases of stubble burning were reported in the state from September 27 to October 22 this year. Last year and in 2016 there were 8,420 and 13,358 cases respectively in the same period.
Pannu pointed out that the marked improvement was mainly attributed to the positive response of the farmers coupled with environmental-friendly initiatives taken by Punjab and the Centre.
He said the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Punjab is far better now than that in the corresponding period.
“The AQI of Punjab is 111 against 326 in the corresponding period last year. An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor and 401 to 500 severe,” Pannu pointed out.
He said that the state government has already embarked upon a massive programme for management of paddy straw, without burning, by the farmers.
As many as 24,315 subsidized agro-machines are being supplied to the farmers, cooperative societies and Custom Hiring Centres to achieve zero burning of paddy straw, he added.
Neighbouring Haryana has also claimed a steep decline in number of stubble burning cases this year.
Stubble-burning in agrarian Punjab and Haryana in October and November leads to environment pollution over north India, particularly in national capital New Delhi, with smog in the winter months (November to January).
This leads to health complications, particularly breathing problems, to many people.
Farmers indulge in burning the crop residue of paddy after harvesting to prepare their agricultural fields for the next crop.