IEP Chandigarh, November 10
A high-level review meeting was held by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) through video conferencing with Punjab Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua and state government officials on Thursday. Adopting a strict attitude regarding increasing pollution, the NHRC took a detailed report on the stubble burning cases in Punjab. The NHRC expressed strong concern over stubble burning cases in North India, especially in Punjab as the air quality has turned ‘severe’ in many cities and has been affecting healthy of the people as well as putting seriously impact on those with existing illnesses.The commission said that incidents of stubble burning should be strictly curtailed. He said that if the situation was not improved, a heavy penalty would be imposed on the Punjab. On this occasion, the Commission meticulously reviewed the cases related to stubble management in Punjab from the Chief Secretary and also sought some data in this regard. The Chief Secretary said that under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the entire machinery of the state is sincerely putting efforts to reduce the incidence of stubble burning this year and farmers are being encouraged and made aware not to burn stubble. The stubble management machines were provided to the farmers on time and all the Deputy Commissioners have also reduced the incidence of stubble burning by adopting effective methods. The Chief Secretary said that every week a meeting is being held with all Deputy Commissioners and higher officials of Punjab for stubble management so that effective measures can be taken to prevent stubble burning.The Chief Secretary said that more focus has been given by the authorities on those hot-spots in the villages where the cases of farm fires were detected in the previous years. Apart from this, a senior IAS officer has been placed in-charge of each 23 districts of the state and they have been directed to work at grass root level to closely review the stubble management and prevent stubble burning cases, the Chief Secretary said. The Chief Secretary said that to encourage farmers, Punjab government is honouring farmers those are not burning the stubble burning. He said that the farmers were also sensitized through various awarneness campaigns including enrolling children studying in schools about burning menace.Apart from this, awareness appears are being made through religious places. The Chief Secretary appealed to the farmers not to burn stubble under any circumstances for the healthy future of children and youth and to cooperate with the government for its management.