Of Rs 2 crore fine, only Rs 4.8 lakh recovered: Punjab govt data on farm fires

Fines totalling over Rs 2 crore were imposed on farmers for setting paddy residue on fire, of which only Rs 4.8 lakh have been recovered so far, which is merely 2%, stated the action taken report compiled by the government on November 9.

Patiala topped the list in imposing environmental compensation and with most red entries in Khasra Girdawari in cases of stubble burning. While 34 cases have been registered against farmers of Mansa district for setting paddy residue on fire.

On the other hand, not a single penny was recovered and no FIR was registered in Bathinda where the most numbers of 3,494 fire incidents were detected by the teams of district administration.Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar, Nawanshahr, Muktsar, and Tarn Taran followed by Hoshiarpur have topped the list for recovering environmental compensation. While SBS Nagar, which reported the second-lowest (34) farm fire incidents, recovered Rs 1.4 lakh as compensation, followed by Muktsar, which has witnessed 1,503 cases, recovered Rs 1 lakh as fine.

Tarn Taran reported 1,560 stubble burning incidents and the administration has recovered Rs 90,000 compensation from farmers, while the authorities in Hoshiarpur, where 277 incidents were reported, have collected Rs 42,500 environmental compensation.

A total of 49 cases under Section 39 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Air Pollution) Act 1981 have been registered so far, while 16 were registered in Patiala as many as 10 farmers were booked in Ludhiana.

Over 17 cases were registered across the state against combine harvester operators for not abiding by the government guidelines. The cases were registered after receiving reports that many operators were not using the super SMS in order to cut the fuel cost.

The action taken report also shows that the visit at 25,322 places, where fields were set on fire, was still pending. Sangrur tops the list with 4,627 places where farm fire incidents were caught by the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) were pending for visit.

In Ludhiana, 608 farm fire cases have been recorded in Jagraon Tehsil. While 253 cases were reported in Samrala Tehsil and 208 in Payal tehsil.

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