CHANDIGARH, October 13:
The Punjab Government has asked Deputy Commissioners to direct absentee land owners, who have leased out their agriculture land to tenants, to ensure that no paddy straw burning takes place on their lands.
Secretary Agriculture Punjab K S Pannu disclosed that about 25 percent farm land in Punjab is estimated to be leased out, mostly by Non Resident Punjabis or people living in urban areas, at yearly rent (thheka) of Rs 40,000- 55,000 per acre therefore they are equally responsible to stop paddy residue burning in their fields.
Pannu also mentioned that these land owners shall become liable for any action as per law in case crop residue is put to fire in their fields. He requested such land owners to give some rebate in rent to cultivators to encourage them to mix the straw in the land without burning which will help in improving soil health and save the environment.
Notably, the Govt. has already banned the stubble burning under section 19(5) of Air (Prevention of Pollution and Control) Act, 1981. Likewise, District Magistrates have already banned the burning of crop residue under section 144 of CrPc at district level.
Secretary Agriculture further said that the Deputy Commissioners have also been asked to get the list of land owners prepared through village level nodal officers. Such nodal officers have been asked to contact such land owners for complying with the instructions. This exercise is aimed at persuading them to ensure no stubble burning takes place on fields leased out by them.
The Secretary further revealed that all revenue Patwari’s had already been directed to mark red entry in the Girdawari of Agriculture land where paddy residue burning takes place.
Considering that burning of paddy straw causes irreversible damage to soil health, environment and health of living beings, a resolution was also passed by Council of Ministers under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, in which the Cabinet unanimously appealed to the farmers to do away with the unhealthy practice of stubble burning in line with upholding the ideology Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji to protect natural resources.