The first phase of harvesting paddy, majorly Basmati, begins in Punjab, and trouble has already started to brew in the state. There have been around 117 cases of stubble burning reported in just two days as per a report by the Hindustan Times. As per the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, at least 55 farm fires were detected on Monday, which increased to 62 on Tuesday alone.
79 farm fires were seen in Amritsar, while 22 were reported in Tarn Taran with about 2-3 incidents in Moga, SAS Nagar, Sangrur and Kapurthala.
For a good growth of Basmati, Majha belt’s climate is conducive. Moreover, the PUSA 1,509 variety of the crop have started to reach grain markets of Amritsar and Tarn Taran. This particular variety is sown by farmers where large scale vegetable cultivation takes place.
Around 1.41 metric tonnes of paddy, mainly Basmati, has reached the grain markets across Punjab while the paddy procurement has not yet begun by government agencies.
Last year, during the paddy harvesting season, close to 43000 cases of stubble burning were reported. The pollution levels, which come to an increase during this time of the year in the North Indian regions of Delhi NCR, Punjab, and Haryana are mostly because of stubble burning.
This year, 29 lakh hectares of paddy land is under harvesting and the main season will begin in the month of October when the stubble burning cases will only go up. Only last year, the National Green Tribunal had asked the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to take steps to prevent stubble burning.
Image Credit: DNA