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8500 Nodal Officers deputed at hotspot villages in Punjab to ensure Zero Stubble burning

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Chandigarh, September 19, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
In a bid to curb the menace of stubble burning during the paddy harvesting season, the Punjab government has appointed 8500 Nodal Officers in all paddy growing villages of the state, identified as hotspots, where paddy stubble was being traditionally put on fire.

According to the Member Secretary, Punjab Pollution Control Board Krunesh Garg, the necessary directions have already been issued to the concerned Deputy Commissioners to give a special attention to the hotspot villages as each of such villages had witnessed more than 25 fire incidents during the last season.

It may be recalled that Patiala, Sangrur, Barnala, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Tarn Taran, Moga and Mansa were identified as hotspot districts, where more than 4000 active fire incidents of paddy stubble burning cases were reported in each of these districts in the past.

Pointing out further, Mr. Garg also said that a control room in each district has also been set up for monitoring the stubble burning incidents, uploading of the data to mobile apps to the dashboard and preparation & submission of action taken reports to different quarters.

He further informed that these nodal officers have been deputed for each affected village to create awareness amongst the farmers to refrain them from stubble burning besides keeping a strict vigil over the post-harvesting operations.

The staff of various departments at district level including Punjab Pollution Control Board, Cooperation, Revenue, Rural Development & Panchayats, Agriculture, Horticulture and Soil Conservation have been appointed as Nodal Officers to further augment the efforts to stamp out the unhealthy practice of stubble burning across the state.

These nodal officers have been mandated to undertake the various activities ranging from raising awareness in villages by way of holding meetings with the farmers, arranging Crop Residue Management (CRM) machines, distribution of pamphlets/leaflets etc. in villages besides taking other measures of disseminating information to educate them against the harmful effects of stubble burning.

Notably, the state government has already embarked upon a massive program for management of paddy straw, without burning, by the farmers. As many as, 76626 subsidized agro-machines/equipment have been supplied to the farmers, Cooperative Societies, Panchayats and Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) under the Crop Residue Management (CRM) scheme in the last three years.

During this year, the Punjab Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Department has already sanctioned more than 31,000 machines against the applications received from the farmers, PACSs, Panchayats and CHCs for purchasing agri-machinery on 50% to 80% subsidy for in-situ and ex-situ management of paddy residue.

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