From April 1 to Oct 15, 2018 only two cases of stubble/straw burning have been reported in Bathinda district, whereas for the corresponding period last year (year 2017) the same figure was 57. This has been possible due to consistent awareness campaign run against stubble/straw burning in Bathinda district.Deputy Commissioner Bathinda Mr Praneet said this during meeting convened to review the paddy procurement arrangements and paddy and wheat stubble/straw burning incidents in district. Mr Rakesh Verma, Principal Secretary, Science and Technology, Government of Punjab presided over the meeting.Sharing the achievements of district Bathinda in stubble/straw management with Mr Rakesh Verma, Principal Secretary, Science and Technology, Government of Punjab, the Deputy Commissioner stated that agriculture department has held 7 farmer training camps at block level and 1160 camps at the village level creating awareness amongst farmers. Similarly, Super SMS system has been installed on 400 combine machines so far as per the government instructions. While last year 1.50 lacs hectares of land in district was under paddy cultivation, the figure for this year is 1.60 lacs hectares.
Last year environmental and health problems arose in district due to stubble burning. District administration is hopeful that lesser such cases will be reported this year.The agriculture department has deputed 290 nodal officers at the village level that are being helped by one coordinator each. These teams have been promoting best practices for stubble/straw management.Giving information about the paddy procurement in district he said that till Oct 15, 2018 48138 MT paddy arrival was reported at the 184 purchase centers in district. Of this 39831 MT has been purchased and work on lifting the procured paddy was also going on smoothly.Addressing the officers Mr Rakesh Verma, Principal Secretary, Science and Technology, Government of Punjab, appreciated the efforts of district administration Bathinda in curbing the stubble/straw burning practices and said that other districts too should follow Bathinda. He added that the agriculture department has conducted sub division and village level camps creating awareness in farmers on the issue. He directed that the machinery received on subsidy for stubble/straw management should be judiciously put to optimum use.SSP Bathinda Dr Nanak Singh, ADC (G) Mr Sukhpreet Singh Sidhu, SDM Bathinda Mr Amarinder Singh Tiwana, SDM Talwandi Sabo Mr Varinder Singh, SDM Rampura Mr Khushdil Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer Mr Guraditta Singh, DFSC Mr Amanpreet Singh Virk and other officers were also present.