Punjab Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua on Tuesday assured the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) that the state will reduce the fire instances by 50 per cent in comparison with 2022.
He said the government is taking step to effectively tackle air pollution. At a meeting, chaired by Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region Chairperson M.M. Kutty, with senior officers of the state, the plan for paddy crop residue management in respect of the coming kharif harvesting season in Punjab was discussed.
Deputy Commissioners briefed the Chairperson about the steps taken by the state for crop residue management. Kutty was happy with steps taken by Punjab to curb stubble burning and congratulated on 30 per cent reduction in the number of fire instances.
He has directed all Deputy Commissioners to prepare action plans for 2023 in advance. Chief Secretary Janjua highlighted the initiatives taken by the government for managing stubble, including solving issues of ex-situ industries, promoting crop diversification and providing adequate in-situ management machines.
He said on the directions of the Chief Minister, the government is working on using paddy straw as animal fodder, promoting cotton crop and sowing the short-duration variety of paddy.
He said field officers are capable of handling this issue and are working with full zeal and enthusiasm. He further added the state government would also hold an awareness campaign for farmers regarding harmful effects of paddy straw burning especially on the soil fertility.