Fazilka/patiala, November 21
The incidents of farm fires in the state crossed the 2018 tally. The total cases between September 23 and November 20 in 2018 and 2019 were 50,829 and 52,003, respectively.
Three farmers have been booked for burning stubble in Fazilka district. However, no arrests have been made so far. Those booked include Krishan Lal of Beganwali village, Baljit Singh of Kathgarh village and Sham Lal of Dhani Puran Wala Khuh village. The farmers have been booked under Section 188 of the IPC.
Intriguingly, the government had decided to offer Rs 2,500 per acre for not burning stubble to farmers, but basmati producers have been excluded under the scheme. Sources said of the total area under all varieties of paddy, nearly 75 per cent of the land was under basmati cultivation and the remaining nearly 20 per cent farmers cultivated coarse variety of paddy. As a result of this situation, the farmers producing basmati variety of paddy have been burning the stubble with impunity.