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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 28 February 2024

To check air pollution, Bihar to 'name and shame' farmers who burn crop residue

State government has banned crop residue burning to check air pollution, and protect the fertility of the soil, says agriculture minister Kumar Sarvjeet

PTI Patna Published 12.11.23, 07:12 AM
The state government has taken several measures to discourage farmers from burning crop residues.

The state government has taken several measures to discourage farmers from burning crop residues. File picture

Amid rising air pollution caused by the burning of crop residue, the Bihar government has decided to identify farmers who are indulging in this practice and put up their names at the block offices, officials said on Saturday.

Besides naming and shaming, directions have also been given to initiate action against such farmers under CrPC Section 133 that deals with unlawful obstruction or nuisance, they said.

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“The state government has banned crop residue burning to check air pollution, and protect the fertility of the soil. It has issued a strict warning to farmers that if they indulge in stubble burning, financial assistance and subsidies under government schemes would be denied,” agriculture minister Kumar Sarvjeet told PTI.

“The state offers electricity to farmers at a cheaper rate, and diesel at subsidised prices, among others. Therefore, farmers must take the matter seriously for the benefit of the people and also the environment,” he added.

It was also decided at a meeting chaired by chief secretary Amir Subhani that the names of farmers who were earlier prosecuted for crop residue burning would be put up at the block offices, officials said.

Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) chairman Devendra Kumar Shukla said the decisions were taken to discourage farmers from stubble burning and harming the environment.

“The state government has taken several measures to discourage farmers from burning crop residues. The state government has undertaken awareness campaigns, and giving subsidies to farmers on various farm equipment,” he said.

Poor air quality, especially during winter, in different cities of the state has always remained a matter of concern, he added.

Several farmers in Rohtas, Kaimur, Buxar, Nalanda, Gaya and Patna districts were penalised by the agriculture department in April for violating norms related to crop residue burning.

The highest number of such cases were reported from Rohtas at 1,298, followed by Kaimur (438 cases) and West Champaran (279 cases).

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