Punjab records zero farm fires on Monday; total cases 27% less than last year

Monday marked the absence of reported active farm fires in Punjab, signaling the nearing conclusion of the paddy harvesting season. The initial instance of stubble burning in this season was noted on September 23, with only a solitary case documented.

This year recorded a total of 36,614 farm fires, reflecting a 27% decline from the previous year\’s 49,992 cases. In the 2021 kharif season, a total of 71,304 farm fires were reported. Despite proactive efforts by the state agriculture department and Punjab Pollution Control Board, controversies arose during the season, leading the Supreme Court to rebuke the government for purportedly failing to control farm fires, adversely affecting air quality in the national capital.

Between September 23 and October 31, merely 9,954 cases of stubble burning were reported, while November saw 27,020 cases, constituting 65% of the overall 36,614 cases of paddy straw burning.

Adarshpal Vig, the chairman of PPCB, expressed optimism regarding a substantial reduction in cases starting from the next year, emphasizing the favorable responses from farmers to the state\’s in-situ and ex-situ management plan for paddy straw.

Sangrur remained the most impacted district with 5,618 cases of stubble burning, whereas Pathankot recorded only four cases. The initiative to achieve zero stubble burning incidents in six districts—Hoshiarpur, Malerkotla, Pathankot, Rupnagar, SAS Nagar, and SBS Nagar—proved unsuccessful, with reported cases in each district.

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