Haryana, Punjab add to woes

Haryana, Punjab add to woes

Erring farmers protest the ban

Haryana, Punjab add to woes

Chandigarh, DHNS: Smog from widespread stubble burning in fields in Punjab and Haryana continues largely unabated majorly contributing to hazardous pollution levels in New Delhi and the national capital region.

Satellite imagery inputs gathered by the state pollution control board reveals a whopping close to 38,000 incidents of stubble burning taking place recently across the state until Tuesday. Haryana is no better. Officials informed, it is unlikely that the air quality improves in the next few days.

In wake of the worsening situation, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday sought to meet CM's of Haryana and Punjab to discuss the issue. While the two state governments are acting against defaulters who violate prohibitory orders issued against stubble burning, farmers couldn't care less.

Soft stand

In Punjab the government appears to go soft on defaulting farmers when it comes to penalizing them. The reason being, CM Capt Amarinder had recently advocated against any strong punitive action that could hit beleaguered debt-ridden farmers.

The state pollution board cites close to 38,000 cases of stubble fires, yet Punjab has issued challans against less than 2,300 farmers.

Till Sunday, over 1,011 cases of stubble burning were reported from various parts of Haryana.

The worst hit is Karnal district which is CM Khattar's constituency.

FIRs registered

Officials said as many as 227 FIRs have been registered against erring farmers.

Besides contributing to a public health emergency in New Delhi and surrounding areas, poor air quality in major regions of the two agrarian states is plunging by the day.

But that hasn't deterred farmers. In fact, they have been resorting to stubble burning in various places in protest against the prohibitory orders. Farmers seek compensation saying their input costs will rise if they do not burn crop stubble.

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