Punjab records 34% rise in stubble burning incidents

: Punjab has recorded a 34% rise in stubble burning incidents this year as compared to the last season, with a total of 289 farm fires reported on Thursday in the state.

According to the data obtained from Punjab Agricultural University’s remote sensing centre, a total of 13,558 incidents of farm fires were reported across the state till Thursday, with 816 stubble burning occurrences reported in Ludhiana alone.

The stubble burning cases have witnessed a 34% rise as compared to last year’s 10,100. A total of 13,420 incidents were reported in 2020. As many as 11,701 incidents of stubble burning were reported in 2019 starting from April 1 to May 30.

Ferozepur tops the chart with 1,397 incidents of stubble burning reported so far this year, followed by Amritsar with 1,195 farm fires, Ludhiana (816), Gurdaspur (1,090) and Moga (1,075).

“Farmers are advised not to burn wheat straw but plough the same in the field as it will improve the fertility of soil. Burning not only spoils the atmosphere but also destroys the nutrients of soil. Beside vehicular traffic, the burning of crop residue also adds to pollution,” principal meteorologist, PAU, KK Gill said.

The pollution reached 180 points on Thursday, which is considered moderate.

Chief agriculture officer Dr Narinder Singh Benipal said that the department of agriculture and farmers welfare was conducting regular inquiry to zero in on the farmers who deliberately set fire to the wheat straw.

Irrigate crops regularly: PAU to farmers

A farm advisory shared by PAU experts on Thursday stated that maximum temperatures are expected to stay above 40 degrees for the next four days. As a heat wave is expected during the coming days, farmers are advised to irrigate crops regularly at an interval of 4-5 days to avoid water stress and apply light irrigations at regular intervals to fruit orchards.

The maximum temperature during the day in the city was 42.5 degree Celsius, while the minimum temperature reached 29.6 degree Celsius.

According to the meteorological department, the minimum temperature remained abnormally high on Thursday and it was in the year 2000, when the city had last witnessed a minimum of 29.6 degrees Celsius on a particular day.

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