West Bengal to observe Nov 4 as anti-stubble burning day

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Kolkata, Nov 3 (PTI) The West Bengal government on Tuesday decided to observe November 4 as an 'anti-stubble burning day', an official said.

The Environment department took the decision in the wake of doctors apprehending that the COVID-19 pandemic may deteriorate with a possible surge in air pollution during the ensuing Diwali and upcoming winter season.

The Agriculture department will also work towards dissuading farmers from burning stubble, the official said.

'After harvesting boro paddy, farmers generally burn the stubble which creates a lot of air pollution. For the last one month, we have started an awareness programme for them to understand the detrimental effects of the practice. Tomorrow we will observe it as Anti-stubble burning day,' state Environment Minister Soumen Mahapatra said.

Last year, the department had issued a notification prohibiting indiscriminate burning of leftover paddy across the state.

Mahapatra said that his department will also start a campaign against firecrackers used during Diwali and Kali Puja from Wednesday highlighting its impact on people's health during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

'We will campaign against firecrackers from tomorrow till the day before the Kali Puja (November 14). We also have plans to start an online awareness programme for Housing complexes in the city and its adjacent areas. We will also campaign to raise awareness-level of school children,' the minister said. PTI SCH RG RG