Chandigarh, Oct 26 (PTI) There has been a steep decline in incidents of stubble burning in Punjab this season as compared to the last year, an official said Friday.Also Read - Singhu Border Killing: Second 'Nihang' Arrested From Punjab Village Over Gruesome Murder of Dalit Man

“The data from the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) depicts that 3,228 cases of stubble burning were reported across the state from September 27 to October 22, 2018, as compared to 8,420 and 13,358 cases in corresponding period during 2017 and 2016,” said Secretary Agriculture Secretary-cum-State Nodal Officer of Anti-Stubble Burning Campaign K S Pannu. Also Read - Only To Curb Trans-Border Crimes: BSF Says Jurisdiction Increased For CrPC Act, Passport Act

He said due to the less incidents of fire, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the state has gradually improved compared to the last few years. Also Read - ‘No Need to Panic’: Amid Concerns Over Power Outage, Centre Says Adequate Coal Supply Will be There

Pannu said the “marked improvement” was mainly because of the “positive response” from the farmers.

The “environmental friendly initiatives” taken by the state government as well as the Centre to check the menace of stubble burning has also helped, he added.

As many as 24,315 subsidised agro-machines are being supplied to the farmers, cooperative societies and custom hiring centres to achieve zero burning of paddy straw, Pannu said.

Over 21,000 farm agro-machines have so far been provided to the farmers for in-situ management of paddy straw in a scientific manner, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.