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Stubble Burning: 1406 farmers fined in Haryana

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Authorities in Haryana have initiated action against 1406 farmers, who have defied orders on burning paddy stubble. A senior official told PTI that a total fine of Rs 13.75 lakh has been collected on Saturday. Many farmers in Haryana and the neighbouring Punjab have continued with the practice, leading to health risks, and adversely affecting the soil’s health.

“We are taking action as stubble burning is a serious issue. Till yesterday, we have initiated action in 1406 cases against those found burning the stubble,” Principal Secretary, Environment Department-cum-Chairman, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), Shrikant Walgad told PTI.

Cases under the Environment Pollution Act were tried by environment courts at Kurukshetra and Faridabad, he said. Both the Haryana and Punjab governments have imposed a ban on burning of paddy residue and the erring farmers can also be prosecuted by the authorities.

On Friday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had informed the Assembly here that Government was serious to tackle the problems arising out of stubble burning. “We are serious on the issue to check stubble burning which causes pollution and other problems,” he said.

However, during the past three weeks, reports from various areas in Haryana and Punjab, suggest that farmers have continued to burn paddy straw despite being asked to shun the practice by the state pollution control boards and the agriculture departments.

Farmers are also being provided subsidy on farm implements like happy seeder, rotavators and straw reapers for managing straw in a sustainable manner. In the last few years it has been noted that when stubble is burned in the two leading agrarian states, the pollutants enter Delhi, adversely affecting the air quality in the national capital.

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