Further taking its battle against stubble burning menace to grassroots by educating the peasantry about harmful effects of practices which may worsen the COVID situation, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Isha Kalia today flagged off awareness van to sensitize the farmers.Flagging off the van from district administrative complex, DC accompanied by Additional Deputy Commissioner (G) Komal Mittal and Chief Agriculture Officer Dr. Rajesh Raheja, said that the vans have been fitted with audio messages and will sensitize people about hazardous effects of burning paddy stubble. She said the paddy stubble was useful for the farmers and it should not be burnt at any cost as farm residue could play an important role in enhancing the fertility of the soil. She said burning of stubble poses a danger to the environment and must be avoided at every cost. She said that these ultra-modern vans would be instrumental in awakening the farmers about the need for paddy straw management.
The Deputy Commissioner said that besides the audio messages, van would also disseminate information to the farmers through the pamphlets and posters for making them aware of the pollution caused by paddy burning beside the ways and means of managing the paddy straw effectively. She also reiterated that instead of burning the paddy straw the farmers must use farm implements for efficaciously tackling the menace of stubble burning in the district thereby making the district pollution-free.
She said that the state government was providing huge subsidies to the farmers for purchasing the ultra-modern equipment that could be useful in effective paddy straw management. She said that due to the burning of paddy straw several major nutrients and other micronutrients of soil were destroyed, whereas the soil health improves drastically if the residue of straw was mixed in the soil.Chief Agriculture Officer Dr. R.K Raheja said that awareness camps, wall paintings, publicity vans have been started. He further said that during these camps, farmers will be sensitized the effects for burning of paddy stubble, which pollutes the environment particularly during this ongoing COVID epidemic. He said that for the facilitation of the small and marginal farmers an i-khet Punjab APP for free use of agriculture machinery has been launched. Similarly an App (ATR- Version 3) for monitoring of burning incidents has also been launched by State Remote Sensing Centers.