If you are choking in Delhi-NCR and the lives of your elders are in danger, blame the Congress government in Punjab and the farmers in the state for it. As per a report by the Union government, there has been a 240 per cent rise in farm fires in Punjab this year compared to last year. The report states that Punjab accounted for 82 per cent of stubble burning and the rest occurred in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
“There were 14,326 cases in three states between October 1 and 23, which are distributed as 11,796, 1,944 and 586 in Punjab, Haryana and UP, respectively,” reads the report.
The noticeable fact in the report was that the number of stubble burning incidents declined drastically in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh while in Punjab it increased by 240 per cent. As per the report, in Haryana, it decreased by 30% from 2,806 last year to 1,944 this year. In UP, it decreased by 33% from 879 to 586 while in Punjab, it increased to 11,796 from 4,889.
“Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Ferozepur in Punjab recorded the highest number of events, while in Haryana, Kaithal, Karnal and Kurukshetra districts recorded more number of burning events,” reads the report.
The data collected by the Union government is likely to be presented in the Supreme Court in a hearing. The Punjab government has shown a completely lacklustre attitude in solving the issues because no area of the state is in the National Capital Region.
The Union government is supplying machinery to farmers to take stubble out from the field and not burn it. However, the Congress government in Punjab has not been able to even distribute the machinery to farmers. A total of 1,12,162 machines were supplied to individual farmers and custom hiring centres (Punjab 51,762, Haryana 36,821and Uttar Pradesh 23,579) in the last two years and Punjab has the lowest distribution ratio.
“As on October 23, against the target of 27,000 machines, Punjab has distributed 14,000 machines (52% of target). In Haryana, 13,700 machines were distributed against the target of 19,700 machines (70% of target). In UP, 10,346 machines were distributed against the target of 15,039 machines (69% of target),” says the report by the Union government.
The Amarinder Singh-led Congress government has shown complete apathy towards the people of Delhi-NCR. Satellite imagery from NASA shows that Punjab has more stubble burning sites that even Pakistan.
Stubble burning is the primary reason behind pollution and smog in Delhi-NCR but the governments in these regions are banning firecrackers instead of addressing the elephant in the room-stubble burning in Punjab. Thousands of firecracker manufacturers and sellers would lose their livelihood in these states due to apathy of the Punjab government towards stubble burning.
On the other hand, the Punjab Government has told NGT that because no district of the state is in the National Capital Region, no ban on firecrackers should be imposed in the state. The Punjab government saved the livelihood of the firecracker sellers in the state, but those in neighbouring states are facing a tough time because it is not addressing stubble burning issue.