Chandigarh: Punjab Police has registered 678 FIRs from November 7 till Thursday against farmers setting paddy stubble on fire in violation of Supreme Court directions and in spite of repeated requests by the state government to not cause air pollution and endanger people’s lives.
The state government has also imposed fine or environmental compensation of over Rs 1.36 crore till date in 6,179 cases from November 7.In 340 cases, the state government has marked red entries in revenue documents of farmers burning crop residue. FIRs are being registered under Section 188 (defying public order) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 39 of The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
Special DGP (law and order) Arpit Shukla, who is nodal officer for checking stubble burning in the state, said there is a clear message to people that law enforcing agencies will ensure Supreme Court directions are implemented in letter and spirit.
He added that state police chief Gaurav Yadav held a meeting with officers on Thursday, directing them to make effective efforts in collaboration with the district administration and other wings of the state government to stop farm fires.
He said that police patrolling has been increased and flying squads constituted.
He added that officials were engaging with farmers and other stakeholders to sensitise them about the ill-effects of stubble burning.
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A farmer in Delhi has been arrested for burning stubble on his farmland. The police received a report of the burning and responded promptly, but by the time they arrived, the fire had already consumed the stubble. The farmer was charged under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and other relevant laws. He has since been released on bail. This arrest is part of the efforts by the Delhi government to address the issue of stubble burning and reduce pollution levels in the city.
A farmer in southwest Delhi’s Chhawla was arrested for stubble burning after a complaint was filed by his neighbor. The incident was limited to a small portion of the field. The farmer was charged under relevant sections of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act but was later released. Stubble burning is not a common practice in Delhi, as farmers primarily plant varieties of Basmati rice that has soft stubble used as cattle fodder. This year, the Delhi government sprayed PUSA bio-decomposers over 5000 acres of paddy for free.
28 farmers have been booked and 10 arrested for burning stubble in Maharajganj district, India. The district magistrate has suspended three officials for failing to stop the burning. The farmers have been warned that if they are found burning crop residue, they will be fined Rs 1 lakh. Instead of burning stubble, farmers are advised to collect it and dispose of it in a proper manner, such as sending it to cow shelters or using decomposers provided by the agriculture department.