Students to turn eco-messengers, spread word against burning paddy straw
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In a major movement, and one of the much required initiatives, more than 20 lakh children will fan out in villages across the state to on October 13 to implore the farmers to stop the unhealthy exercise of burning the paddy stubble and straw as it leads to air pollution.
The initiative by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) in collaboration with Education Department of Punjab, comes after rampant burning of paddy and wheat straws could not be stopped even by issuing prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC.
PPCB member Secretary Babu Ram said that the students from the middle to senior secondary government schools, participating in the rallies will appeal to the farmers to stop the unhealthy practice as it may affect their future generations.
PPCB chairman K S Pannu claimed that the regional director, CBSE had also directed all the affiliated schools to participate in this campaign.
Citing Tuesday's incidence where three children were burnt alive after an abandoned auto rickshaw which they drove to a field where stubble was being burnt caught fire, Pannu said that the practice leads to air pollution and often hampers the traffic movement leading to accidents. October witnessed a higher level of ambient air pollution throughout the state, he said, adding that the Board has already launched a campaign against the menace.
Pannu said that about 20 million tonnes of paddy stubble was burnt in the open fields causing a direct loss of about Rs 500 crore to the farmers in Punjab. Burning of an acre of paddy stubble causes a direct loss of about 32 kg of urea, 5.5 kg of DAP and 51 kg of potash, which is available in the straw, he said, adding that the stubble can be used as fertilizer if it was ploughed back in the field before sowing the next crop.