Chandigarh, Sep 4 (PTI) The Punjab government on Friday directed deputy commissioners to ensure zero cases of stubble burning in the upcoming kharif season.
Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan also asked the officials to appoint nodal officers at village level to monitor and immediately report any such incidents.
A mobile app has also been developed to get real-time updates on stubble burning incidents across the state, she said.
At a high-level meeting through video conferencing with various stakeholders, the chief secretary took stock of the actions taken by departments concerned to ensure zero incidences of stubble burning.
The virtual meeting was attended by representatives of farmers, Punjab Agricultural University, NGOs, state government departments and other stakeholders.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has been pressing the central government to give an incentive of Rs 100 per quintal of paddy to farmers, in addition to MSP to incentivise them to manage the paddy straw, an official statement said giving details of the meeting.
Mahajan urged the farmers to partner with the state government and pledge to shun the residue burning practice.
She said the nodal officers would be appointed, especially in hotspot districts wherein maximum burning incidents were reported last year.
There are eight hotspots in the state -- Sangrur, Barnala, Patiala, Bathinda, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Mansa, Tarn Taran and Ferozepur.
The nodal officers will verify fire incidents reported by Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, Ludhiana, the chief secretary said.
She also directed the deputy commissioners to make elaborate arrangements for the storage of paddy straw in rural areas, with zero tolerance towards those found indulging in residue burning.
A senior official of Punjab Remote Sensing Agency said the mobile app would help check such incidents on a real-time basis.
On Thursday, the Haryana government too had directed officials to prepare a comprehensive plan to ensure there is no stubble burning cases in the state in the upcoming paddy harvesting season.
Many farmers in the agrarian states of Haryana and Punjab had been burning paddy residue despite a ban on it. Many violators have been slapped with fines and others booked for stubble burning.
The two states are blamed for rising air pollution and smog due to stubble burning by farmers. PTI SUN DPB DPB