Stubble burning cases near 30k in Punjab

Bathinda: The number of paddy stubble burning cases in Punjab this paddy harvest season inched closer to 30,000 on Sunday.

The state recorded 2,817 new cases, of which 613 were reported in Sangrur In all, the state has so far recorded 29,400 cases. On the same day in 2020, 5036 cases were reported in the state. In 2021, 5,327 cases were reported on the same day.

Up to November 5 in 2020, there were 49,122 cases in Punjab, and 28,792 cases were reported in 2021.

Six districts reported over 100 cases during the day and three districts recorded over 200 cases. Bathinda reported the second highest number of cses, 332.

In all, there have been 4,257 cases in Sangrur, 2,912 in Tarn Taran, 2,893 in Patiala, 2,406 in Ferozepur, 2,123 in Bathinda, 1,606 in Barnala, 1,437 in Amritsar, 1,357 in Ludhiana, 1,346 in Mansa, 1.180 in Moga, 1,161 in Kapurthala, 1,085 in Muktsar, 1,070 in Jalandhar, 986 in Fatehgarh Sahib, 973 in Faridkot, 825 in Gurdaspur, 582 in Fazilka, 419 in Malerkotla, 231 in Hoshiarpur, 213 in Roopnagar, 183 in SBS Nagar, and 155 in SAS Nagar.

Cases are expected to continue in the state, as the state has been able to procure only 75% of its paddy procurement target of 190 lakh metric tonnes in the ongoing season.

Date for taking subisdy on stubble management machines extended

Chandigarh: The Punjab government has decided to extend the deadline for letting the farmers take subsidy on farm machinery to November 20. Agriculture minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said the period was to expire on November 7. He added that the new sanctions to purchase baler rakes machines would be for 21 days. He said these decisions were being taken to provide help to farmers for paddy straw management and direct sowing of wheat. Dhaliwal also made an appeal to farmers to save environment from pollution by maximum utilisation of these schemes of the government.

‘Benefit from smart seeder’

Bathinda: Punjab agriculture department conducted a demonstration of smart seeder in the presence of state legislative assembly speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan in the fields of progressive farmer Gurpreet Singh Chandbhaja at Chandbhaja village in Faridkot on Saturday. Faridkot deputy commissioner Ruhee Dugg and chief agriculture officer Karanjit Singh were present with department officials. Around 70 farmers, present at the demonstration, showed keen interest in the new technology.

Punjab farmers hold officials hostage

Bathinda: With an increase in stubble burning cases in Punjab, there has been a corresponding increase in the incidents of villagers stopping government officials from tapart in preventive measures, and in some cases, they are even taking them hostage.

Under such circumstances, government employees are reluctant to go to the fields, fearing harsh treatment by agitated farmers. Many officials feel helpless as the district. authorities force them to visit fields and take action against farmers involved in stubble burning but farmers are not allowing them to work freely .

In the latest such incident, patwari (revenue employee) Sukhdeep Singh was held hostage for hours at Jeon Wala vil lage in Faridkot district. The activists of the farmer organisation BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) caught hold of him when he visited the fields to record the names of the farmers burning crop residue. The BKU activists asked the patwari to call senior officers and get an assurance from them that no action will be taken against the farmers for burning stubble. The administration and police officials rushed to the spot but had a tough time getting the farmers to free the patwari. The BKU activists let him off after over 34 hours when the district authorities assured them that no action would be taken against the farmers.

Faridkot deputy commissioner Ruhee Dugg said the administration does not want farmers to burn stubble. The patwari was held hostage and was released initially but when he again went to the village for some other work he again was detained. When contacted, Faridkot senior supe rintendent of police Rajpal Singh said the patwari was let off after some hours the second time.

Earlier, farmers had taken a fire tender in their possession at Kalala village in Barnala district when the fire brigade team had gone to douse farm fires in the village. The activists of farm organisation BKU (Kadian) after forcibly taking possession of the fire tender drove it to the village gurdwara. The police later registered a case against 125 farmers. Another group of farmers inter stopped a fire tender from dousing fire at Jagjitpura village, also in Barnala district.