121 stubble burning incidents, 60 FIRs in Mohali in one month

Even as the district administration appointed rapid response teams to curb stubble burning, as many as 121 cases have been reported in Mohali in the past one month, up from 82 throughout the season last year.

More than half the cases (66) have been reported from the Dera Bassi subdivision, while Kharar accounts for 32 and Mohali for 23 cases.

“In the survey, teams ]\found 50% of the total fields are under stubble burning. Till November 12, we have imposed a fine of ₹3 lakh as environmental penalty on 121 farmers found burning stubble in their fields,” said Girish Dayalan, deputy commissioner, Mohali. Last year, fines worth ₹2.55 were imposed.

Also, as compared to just eight FIRs registered last year, the Mohali police have booked 59 farmers under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and one under the air pollution Act in the past one month.

The area under paddy cultivation in the district is around 25,800 hectares, which is expected to result in 1.29 lakh quintals of crop residue.

Fine for stubble burning on farmland of less than two acres is ₹2,500; for fields of two to five acres, it is ₹5,000; and for over five acres, it is ₹15,000.

“We are trying our level best to control stubble burning, but farmers continue to flout rules. Directions have been issued to the revenue department to make red entries in the land records of offenders,” said a senior official of the district administration, not wishing to be named.

Red entry means the farmer will not be eligible for any government facility or loan from any bank or institution.

As part of efforts to curb stubble burning, rapid response teams were constituted along with appointment of village-level nodal officers to monitor the area under their jurisdiction and report stubble burning. The teams have been trained to use a mobile app, through which they will share on-the-spot action taken. It is mandatory for every official to update the action taken in a stipulated period.

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