Farmers blame govt for worsening air quality


People suffering from breathing-related problems in Ludhiana saw an increase of 20% amid worsening air quality due to rising cases of stubble burning in the state.
While talking to ANI, the locals and the farmers blamed the government for the rising cases of stubble burning and also said that they are against any government action against the farmers. MD Medicine, Ludhiana Civil Hospital, Dr Amanpreet Kaur, said the breathing-related problems increase during this time every year.
“Every year during this time, the number of people suffering from breathing problems increases. It happens due to the rise in viral diseases during this time. The stubble-burning, smoke from Diwali celebrations worsens the air quality and it affects those suffering from TB, asthma and those with smoking habits. This year also, there has been a 20-30% rise in the cases of patients with breathing issues,” she said.
BKU Ugrahaan District President, Gurpreet Singh Noorpura told ANI that the farmers will protest against the government if the government takes any action against the farmers.
“The prices of crops are very less, while the cost of diesel, medicines and DAP is very high. The farmers are not able to save and the burden of loans is increasing. The farmers had even protested outside the Chief Minister’s residence in Sangrur. The government also promised to provide the farmers with compensation worth Rs 2,500 per acre and a Rs 200 bonus, but nothing happened. Neither they made arrangements to purchase the stubble. It doesn’t leave small farmers with any other option. After this, if the government takes any step like ‘Red Entry’ of farmers, we will protest and ‘gherao’ against the government,” he said.
Stubble burning continued unabated in Punjab with the state reporting nearly 24,000 such cases so far, an official said on Friday.
The incidents of stubble burning have seen a rise in parts of Punjab this year in comparison to last year. However, the area of fields burnt has witnessed a drop of 1 per cent so far.
Speaking to ANI over the phone, Senior Environmental Engineer of Punjab Pollution Control Board, Gurbakhshish Singh Gill said that 1,144 incidents of stubble burning have taken place in the state till Thursday and 24,146 such incidents in Punjab.
“We are working in coordination with the government. Efforts are on. Farmers are being sensitised. Our teams are monitoring the situation. We are hopeful of the situation being in our control this time,” he said earlier on Thursday.
He attributed various factors to the deterioration in the Air Quality Index (AQI).”There are various factors responsible for the deteriorating AQI. Stubble burning is one of them, other is Diwali, transportation and other atmospheric conditions,” he said.
Speaking to ANI on Thursday, Deputy Commissioner of Bathinda, Showkat Ahmad Parray said, “Nearly 1,200 incidents have been reported till now. Last year, it was nearly 900 which has increased this time. But the data that comes to us is not right in itself because there is some period during which the satellite does not capture the incidents. So if there is stubble burning taking place during that period, such incidents are not reported to us,” he said.
Crop burning instances in 2021 and 2022 were roughly the same until October 25, after which there was a divergence and more instances recorded this year than the same date last year. So far, there have been 21,480 instances recorded in Punjab this year.