Punjab actively addresses farm fires amid Supreme Court pressure
Punjab takes swift action on farm fires as Supreme Court gets tough
In response to firm directives from the Supreme Court to curb farm fires, the Punjab government has devised a strategy that emphasizes deterrence and holds local law enforcement and civil authorities accountable.
The strategy, as outlined by the Punjab government, prioritizes the formation of cluster-based joint teams comprising both police and civil administration. These teams will focus on regular patrolling and act as a deterrent against stubble burning. The aim is to identify areas with a history of such incidents through past patterns and local intelligence, intensify patrolling efforts in these regions, and engage with the local communities.
Local Police and Administration key in battling stubble burning
The state police will implement spot checks by Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) and Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) to maintain vigilance and convey a message that both the police and administration are actively addressing the issue. Effective patrolling and a visible presence of law enforcement and administration have proven effective in reducing stubble burning.
Additionally, the strategy seeks to involve the local community by soliciting their cooperation. Farmers can approach the police with concerns about machinery or equipment shortages, which will then be relayed to the civil administration for immediate assistance.
The Supreme Court has instructed Punjab to make the local Station House Officer (SHO) and the administration responsible for farm fires. The Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, will issue fresh directives to district police chiefs to adapt their approach to counter resistance from farmers regarding stubble burning.
Once the Supreme Court's final orders are available, the Punjab government will implement the plan, ensuring compliance with each directive. The remote sensing system will alert the SHO in case of a farm fire, holding them accountable if no action is taken, along with other civil administration officials.
The state government awaits the written directions from the Supreme Court to execute the strategy effectively.