Amritsar, 8 May 2016: The NGO Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) has requested the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak committee (SGPC) to utilise its gurdwaras in the rural areas to mobilise opinion against wheat stubble burning.
Members of the NGO, in a meeting held here today, decided to draw the attention of the SGPC over the matter. They said the residue of burnt stubble in the form of dark black ash was flying in the air which settled on terraces of houses. The air in and around the pious Golden Temple had been polluted beyond limits, causing harm to the shine of gold and marble of the temple. They said the SGPC authorities had not touched the serious issue to ask the farmers not to burn the stubble. The SGPC must ask the farmers to follow the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib’s “Pawan Guru Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat” and not resort to burning of wheat stubble.
They demanded that the SGPC should also take the services of preachers to spread this message among farmers. It should also instruct all village gurdwara granthis to preach this message. Alleging that the menace had reached alarming proportions despite availability of strict laws, the NGO members said dense, black and poisonous smoke producing from wheat stubble burning in almost all villages like Vallah, Verka, Sultanwind, Daburji, Fatahpur and others, had raised serious environmental concerns.
They said the problem was causing air-pollution and respiratory diseases to many people. Not only this, deaths were also reported in every season due to the invisibility caused by dense smoke on highways. During this season, two farmers were burnt alive in the stubble fire and two met fatal accidents on roads. But the government authorities were so insensitive to this problem that nothing concrete had came out to solve the problem. Non-implementation of laws by the authorities and the Pollution Control Board had aggravated the problem.
Agriculture Development Officers and other employees of the Agriculture Department should conduct regular meetings in villages with the farmers to teach among them the ill and unnatural effects of the illegal practice. Farmers should also be made aware that the illegal practice may have them face legal troubles, members of the AVM warned. The smoke produced from stubble burning has engulfed the atmosphere of whole city which has affected the breathing of every resident. Besides making the air polluted, the flora and fauna is also badly affected by the practice. City environment is already devoid of sufficient green cover. The birds also become prey to the flames of fire. Numerous nocturnal and other animals have lost their lives due to the burning of wheat stubble.