CHANDIGARH, OCTOBER 17: In a move to check stubble burning far more effectively, Punjab government has decided to depute nodal officers in nearly 8000 paddy growing villages across the state identified by the Agriculture Department where paddy stubble is traditionally being burnt.

Disclosing this here today, Secretary Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Kahan Singh Pannu said that all the Deputy Commissioners had already been asked to depute the officers/officials in each of such villages to create awareness about the ill effects of paddy stubble burning hazardous for human health and environment. These nodal officers have been asked to keep a close vigil over the post harvesting operations.

The Secretary said the staff of Cooperation, Revenue, Rural Development & Panchayats, Agriculture, Horticulture and Soil Conservation departments and Powercom would work in tandem to check this menace efficaciously. The nodal officers will also undertake various activities, ranging from holding meetings with the farmers, arranging Crop Residue Management (CRM) machines, distribution of pamphlets/leaflets etc. in villages, besides making announcements in Gurdwaras etc. He said that these nodal officers had also been directed to interact with village schools for organizing rallies and awareness lectures to sensitize students so that they could in turn prevail upon their parents to make them aware about the harmful effects of stubble burning.

If any farmer burns the residue in the open fields, the nodal officers will ensure red entry in the Revenue records with the help of the Patwari of concerned village. Likewise, the nodal officers would also ensure effective implementation of Punjab Government’s instructions in case of paddy straw burnt in land of employees of Govt./Board/Corporation/Coop. Societies and Panchayats land.

Mr. Pannu said that all the secretaries of 3485 Cooperative Societies across the state would be put on this job. Likewise, the services of the  1850 Panchayat Secretaries of Rural Development & Panchayats, 2000 Junior Engineers, 6000 linemen, 200 Sub Division Officers of PSPCL, 1500 officers of the departments of Agriculture, Horticulture and Soil Conservation would also be engaged for this purpose. Besides, the services of others officers/employees working at the grass root level would also utilize for this purpose. In addition, coordinating officers will also be deputed in a circle of 20 villages.

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