Despite ban, 1,500 farm fire cases in Punjab in two days

www.tribuneindia.com

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11


Directives by the Supreme Court on strictly enforcing its stubble-burning ban notwithstanding, as many as 1,565 farm fire incidents have been reported from various parts of Punjab over the past two days alone. 


Till Sunday evening, Punjab had reported 44,746 stubble-burning cases, a count that stood at 43,181 on November 8, showed Punjab Government data. More than 1,500 FIRs had been lodged this paddy season under CrPC Section 188 for defying the ban, said sources. One hundred and forty-one cases have been lodged in Muktsar district alone over the past few days. 


Agriculture Secretary Kahan Singh Pannu said following the SC order, the government had also started the process to disburse a relief of Rs 100/per quintal of crop residue to farmers. Calling the process long-drawn, Pannu said over 15,000 compensation applications had been received so far.


“The applications have to be first approved by panchayats, revenue officers and the district administration and only then can compensation be released,” he said, adding the state government initiated the process within a week of the Supreme Court order.


An official said the registration of police cases against violators was hardly proving a deterrent.


“Farmers are not detained and are allowed bail, at times on the spot, on the basis of surety bonds,” he said. A police official said arresting farmers could lead to protests and a law and order problem. 


The government, however, has collected a fine worth Rs 3.01 crore from 11,727 farmers and 71 harvesters had been impounded.


The air quality index (AQI) in Punjab, meanwhile, remains unhealthy (over 200) in Bathinda, Barnala, Sangrur and Sunam. It is graded unhealthy (190-200) in Dhuri, Mansa, Nabha, Jagraon and Malerkotla.protesters hold four officials hostage


Sangrur: Protesting farmers under the banner of BKU Ugrahan, who sat on a dharna at Gharachon village on the Sunam-Bhawanigarh road around 5.30 pm on Monday, refused to allow four senior officials, including Sangrur Chief Agriculture Officer Jaswinderpal Singh Grewal and Deputy Registrar Jatinderpal Singh, to leave. oc



Protesters hold four officials hostage


Sangrur: Protesting farmers under the banner of BKU Ugrahan, who sat on a dharna at Gharachon village on the Sunam-Bhawanigarh road around 5.30 pm on Monday, refused to allow four senior officials, including Sangrur Chief Agriculture Officer Jaswinderpal Singh Grewal and Deputy Registrar Jatinderpal Singh, to leave. oc





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