Haryana Environment Minister Vipul Goel said the government has taken action against 1,011 farmers so far, in cases related to burning of stubble, the burning of the straw left behind after the harvest of wheat and other crops. First Information Reports have been registered under relevant sections against 227 of them, PTI quoted Goel as saying.
“We are forced to take action as nothing is as important as our environment,” Goel said, according to The Times of India. “We have also carried out awareness campaigns. Over the past two or three days, there is a sudden increase in the levels of air pollution, hence we have intensified the anti-stubble burning campaign.”
By November 4, 963 cases of stubble burning were reported, according to The Economic Times. On November 5, 48 cases were added. The farmers have been charged a fine amounting to Rs 11.89 lakh.
“Not only paddy, burning the residue of any crop is harmful to the environment. It is not only deteriorating the environment, but also reducing the fertility of the lands of farmers,” Goel said, according to IANS.
In 2016, the Haryana government had registered 1,406 cases against those violating stubble burning and had received Rs 13.75 lakh in fine.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said he was writing to his counterparts in Punjab and Haryana requesting them to meet to find solutions to stubble burning. The Indian Medical Association has declared a “public health emergency” in New Delhi following increasing pollution levels. The Delhi government asked all primary schools in the Capital to be shut on Wednesday as the air quality dropped to the “severe” category.