To prevent environmental pollution, the Aam Aadmi Party government of Punjab has declared war against stubble burning. Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, the agricultural minister in the Punjab government, met with district agriculture officials to develop a strategy for limiting stubble burning at the district level.
Furthermore, Mr. Dhaliwal announced that he will meet with a few Cabinet colleagues and vice chancellors of state universities to recruit NSS volunteers, in order to spread awareness of the negative impacts of burning stubble. Additionally, the government has cancelled the leaves of its staff till 7th November. The harvesting season will begin in October.
To combat paddy stubble burning, the Punjab government has created a complex plan that includes a large awareness campaign, the distribution of thousands of crop residue management machines, and the involvement of students as well as various religious institutions.
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The Aam Aadmi Party, during the assembly elections held in February this year, promised to work on the stubble burning issue. Moreover, this has been one of the major issues in Punjab and Haryana, which is often blamed for the air pollution in the national capital.
As per the data, the paddy straw is produced in Punjab annually in amounts of about 180 lakh tonnes. Given the limited time between the two crops, farmers set their fields on fire to swiftly remove the crop residue and prepare the land for the following Rabi crop (wheat).
Reportedly, the cases of stubble burning reported in Punjab were – 71,304 in 2021, 76,590 cases in 2020, 55,210 cases in 2019, and 50,590 cases in 2018, with numerous districts, notably Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda, and Amritsar, reporting a high number of such incidents.
According to the latest information, Punjab’s Agriculture Director said that the Punjab government will be visiting the villages reporting a higher number of stubble burning cases, to make the farmers aware of its consequences, sensitising them against stubble burning.