Chandigarh:Employees of Punjab Agriculture Department have appealed the government not to make them party in cases registered against farmers and penalties imposed on farmers accused of stubble burning. Apprehending creating of bad blood among farmers and the field staff of the department over the issue, a delegation of the employees on Tuesday submitted a memorandum of the Hoshiarpur Deputy Commissioner.
In the representation, the employees have appealed the authorities not to involve them in cases of burning of wheat stubbles against the farmers. They claim that the employees should rather be involved in educating and making the farmers aware of the side-effects of the burning stubbles. Since the field staff of the department is closing knit with the farmers for a long time and holding camps, seminars, fairs and other activities to provide technical support of them and now making them a party in case of stubble burning registered against them will sour their relations.
They would not be able to communicate with farmers more affectively in case the government launches certain farmer friendly schemes in future, a member of the delegations said. The field officers of the Agriculture and Revenue Departments have been apprehending creation of ‘Bad Blood’ with farmers after receiving orders from the Deputy Commissioners of their respective districts. Following orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) in curbing stubble burning across the state, the Punjab government has decided to monitor the fire events through the satellite imaging. The government has roped-in the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Revenue and Agriculture department to execute the strategy for enforcing the orders. The NGT has also asked the government to register cases against the violators against provisions of the Section 144 of the CrPC.
As per the NGT orders, putting residue on fire in less than 2 acres of land will attract Rs 2500 penalty, putting residue on fire in 2 acres to 5 acres of land will attract Rs 5000 penalty and putting residue on fire in more than 5 acres of land will attract Rs 15000 penalty. The village level agriculture officer and the patwaris, who have be asked to identity the violator farmers and send a report against them to their superiors, are in a fix over the orders. They claimed that no doubt job is priority for them but sending reports against the violators will definitely create ‘bad blood’ among them.