17% dip in straw burning cases this paddy season

CHANDIGARH: With paddy harvesting season almost over, data shows that Haryana has managed around 17% reduction in the incidents of paddy straw burning this year as compared to 2017. While the state had detected a total of 16,032 incidents related to burning of paddy in 2017, the number has come down to 13,371 this year. The authorities have collected around Rs 31.82 lakh as environmental compensation from those found guilty of burning paddy straw in the state till November 21.

paddy

These figures included the 9,314 incidents of straw burning detected by Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC) through satellite and 4,057 cases noticed by the district level coordination committees (DLCC) constituted by the Haryana government to curb the incidents of straw burning.

As per the data, procured from the Haryana Pollution Control Board (HPCB), Fatehabad district led with the highest number of 4,281 cases of straw burning, which included 2,615 cases spotted by HARSAC and 1,666 caught by DLCC. Sirsa was on second position with 2,426 cases, and Kaithal at third with 1,477 cases. Kurukshetra is close to Kaithal with 1,476 cases, while Karnal, known as ‘rice bowl’ of the state, was surprisingly at fifth spot with 1,064 cases.

The government officials said that the decline was outcome of several stringent steps taken by the state and the technical surveillance by the HARSAC. Directions were issued to officials of panchayat and revenue department to bring all the incidents of burning of straw burning to the notice of concerned deputy commissioner (DC) within 30 minutes of the occurrence. In case they failed to do so, without sufficient cause, it was treated as dereliction of duty.

The authorities are also being immediately informed about the stubble burning by the HARSAC, which has been sending the messages of crop residue burning through SMS alerts to DCs, officers of agriculture department and HSPCB.

“Mobile Application has been developed by HARSAC for crowd sourcing for reporting stubble burning locations from the field functionary using a link so that they may be able to check the location of burning incidences through their mobile application and can collect the compensation from the defaulting farmers,” says HPCB member secretary S Narayanan.

Narayanan said that a list of top 30 crop residue burning villages of each district of Haryana had been provided to all deputy commissioners and they were directed to keep regular vigilance and to organized awareness programmes in these villages. The board is also conducting a ‘source apportionment study’ regarding impact of crop residue burning on air pollution in Haryana.