Stumbling burn

Updated on: November 12, 2019 23:45 IST
Chandigarh: Despite the Supreme Court’s directives, the incidents of stubble burning have not stopped. Incidents of burning of paralis have been reported in 1,565 fields from different parts of Punjab in the last two days. According to the Punjab government data, a total of 44,746 incidents of stubble burning have been reported in the state till Sunday evening. As of 8 November, it was 43,181. Sources said that more than 1,500 FIRs were registered in these cases under CrPC Section 188. In the last few days, one hundred and forty-one cases have been registered in Muktsar district alone.

Agriculture Secretary Kahan Singh Pannu said that after the Supreme Court order, the government has started the process to give relief amount of Rs 100 per quintal to the farmers. Pannu said that more than 15,000 compensation applications have been received so far. “The applications have to be approved first by the panchayats, revenue officials and district administration and only then can the compensation be released,” he said, adding that the state government has initiated the process within a week of the Supreme Court order. An official said that it is proving difficult to register police cases against those who burn stubble.

“The farmers are not taken into custody and they are granted bail on the basis of a fixed bond,” the official said. A police officer said that arresting the farmers could lead to protests and law and order problems. However, the government has recovered a fine of Rs 3.01 crore from 11,727 farmers and seized 71 harvesters.

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