New Delhi: Defying a ban on stubble burning, the farmers of Bhamme Khurd village broadcast the burning of paddy stubble on social media platforms, stated a report. Such incidents of stubble burning were reported at two more villages in Mansa district of Punjab.

Speaking to news agency ANI on Sunday, a farmer from Punjab explained, “Smoke from farm residue is less polluting than that from factories and vehicles. It causes less than 10 per cent pollution. We are ready to cooperate if government provides help, as doing it on our own is not economically viable for us”.

To ensure zero crop residue burning in Punjab and Haryana, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has adopted more than 100 villages and 100,000 acres of farm area in these states. This announcement was made on Sunday in the wake of alarming pollution levels recorded in the northern parts of India.

Meanwhile, the aim of CII is to provide farm machinery such as Happy Seeder, Zero Till and Mulcher on a nominal rent to over 15,000 farmers and organise technical trainings and awareness drives in the adopted villages of Punjab and Haryana. In order to keep a track on the impact of reduced stubble burning, CII has already installed air quality monitors to measure the village level air pollution data. This non-profit association has received support from over 3,000 school students in Punjab, and youth and corporate volunteers, stated a report.

“The impact of the intervention was encouraging. Post the intervention, 80 per cent farmers adopted no stubble burning approach and a total of 12,000 acres of farmland (75 per cent of the total area under paddy in the adopted villages) became free of stubble burning in 2018, compared to 550 acres (3.5 per cent of farmland) in 2017,” CII was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.