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AAP opposes stubble burning statistics

Burning stubble politics continues to heat up the Punjab political landscape. After being on the receiving end of opposition over deteriorating air quality in Punjab and Delhi, the AAP has now hit back saying the Bhagwant Mann-led government’s awareness campaign was successful with claims of reduced farm fires this year.

The AAP has released the data of stubble burning cases in Punjab, claiming that they had fallen by 50 percent in the worst-affected five districts of the state.

“With the efforts of the Bhagwant Mann government, the cases of stubble burning in Sangrur, Moga, Ferozepur, Ludhiana and Patiala have dropped by as much as 50 percent compared to last year,” the Punjab AAP said in a tweet.

In Sangrur, up from 8,006 cases last year, only 5,239 cases were reported this year, while in Moga the number was 3,592 compared to 6,557 last year. In Ferozepur, 4,282 cases were reported this year, down from 6,268 last year, while in Ludhiana, the number of farm fires this year was 2,668 compared to 5,817. Cases in Patiala amounted to 3,332 compared to 5,368.

According to AAP data, just over 49,000 cases have been reported in Punjab this year against more than 71,000 cases.

While air quality remained a concern, the Punjab government said its awareness campaigns had begun to show results when it came to burning stubble.

“The government has already distributed 1.2 lakh rice straw management machines to the farmers. Also, senior node officers have been placed in different districts, usually targeting the worst, and that has produced results on the ground,” an officer said.

But the opposition continued to target the government, citing an example from neighboring Haryana, where it said farm fires had dropped dramatically this year due to more active government involvement.

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