Farm fires down by half in Punjab, 1/3rd in Haryana

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, October 17: People in the national capital region may get a reprieve from the worst smog on account of farm fires in the northern states. For a few years on a trot, people in the Delhi NCR have been coughing their life through October-November as farmers set their land on fire to burn the crop residues to prepare the soil for the next crops.

The Central government has stated that the incidents of the total farm fire reported in Punjab are almost half of what had been reported till date last year. “There are 1444 cases of farm fire incidents as against 2375 in 2021. Haryana has reported 244 cases of farm fire so far as compared to 1026 in the previous year, while such cases are just one-sixth in areas of Uttar Pradesh coming under the NCR (five against 30 fire incidents during the corresponding period of 2021).

However, it must be stated that November is the worst month for farm fires, as last year there were allegedly abnormal number of such incidents in the first 20 days of the month.

“In NCT of Delhi, two fire incidents have been reported this year. No fire incident has been reported from the two NCR Districts of Rajasthan. During the current harvesting season, the first paddy residue burning incident was reported on September 15 in Punjab, on September 18 in Haryana, on September 30 in the NCR districts of Uttar Pradesh and on October 5 in Delhi,” said the Ministry of Environment on Monday.

It was noted that about 31,700 Custom Hiring Centers and cooperatives have been set up in Punjab, Haryana and UP (NCR) and more than two lakh CRM Machinery is available for utilization in Punjab, Haryana and NCR Districts of UP. The Centre and the state administrations are incidentally banking on the sensitization campaign to deal with the issue of farm fires.

Incidents of farm fires are being monitored closely for a month now, which began from September 15 this year, in Punjab, Haryana and eight NCR districts of UP. “The current year has so far seen a reduction from 3431 to 1695 fire counts as compared to the corresponding period of last year,” added the Ministry.

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