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49,000 cases of stubble burning recorded in Punjab

by The Canadian Parvasi

Centre Court Developments

This Sunday alone, 368 cases of stubble burning were reported across Punjab, bringing up the tally to 49,283 so far, media reports suggest.

Experts estimate farm fires in Punjab to end around November 30 this year. The number of fires is also expected to go up to 55,000.

While still a large number, farm fires this year were significantly lower than in previous years.

During the same time period last year, there were 70,711 recorded farm fires while in 2020, the number was 75,986.

While the total area impacted by stubble burning cannot be ascertained until the fires stop, 2022 saw 31.13 lakh hectares of land being used for paddy cultivation. After harvest, around 19.76 million tonnes of paddy straw is estimated to be generated from it.

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While regularly cautioned by the government not to burn paddy due to environmental concerns, many farmers still opt to do so.

Around 15 million tonnes of paddy is estimated to be burned by the region every year.

The rise in air pollution in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi has, on many occasions, been attributed to the rise in stubble burning in the region.

Earlier this month, AAP National Convener Arvind Kejriwal, in a joint press conference with AAP’s Punjab Cheif Minister Bhagwant Mann, acknowledged the problem of stubble burning in the region, stating, “Pollution is not just Delhi’s but entire Northern India’s problem. The Centre has to come forward and take specific steps so that the entire North India can be relieved from pollution. Air pollution is a North India problem.”

“Now is not the time for the blame game. There should not be politics over such a sensitive issue. I admit there is stubble burning in Punjab, ” he stressed.

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