Compensation for wheat crop destroyed in accidental fires

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Chandigarh, Apr 22 (UNI) The Punjab Government has directed all its Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to examine each and every case of wheat crop being destroyed by fires, caused due to electrical sparks or due to some other reason so that the affected farmers could be adequately compensated.

These directions were issued by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today following an increase in such incidents in the state in the last one week.

There have been over 20 incidents of standing wheat crop being destroyed in fires. The most recent was in Kapurthala district where standing wheat crop in an area of 400 acres was destroyed in a fire yesterday.

A majority of these incidents have occured due electric sparks falling in the wheat fields from the overhead wires or from the transformers in agricultural fields. A single electric spark falling on the dried wheat crop which is ready for harvesting is enough to engulf an entire field and even the nearby fields.

Despite the occurance of such incidents every year, the state electricity board rarely takes steps to tighten the electric wires passing over agricultural fields. Sparking occurs when the loose electric wires come in contact with each other and at this time of the year a single spark leads to a major fire. Due to the summer heat and the winds the fire spreads very fast.

There have also been cases of combine harvestors coming in contact with overhead electric wires.

The Deputy Commissioners have been directed to examine personally the causes of such fires in each and every case and then send a report to the concerned authorities or departments.

Expressing serious concern over the occurance of such incidences during this time of the year, Mr Badal has issued strict directions that in case the standing wheat crop is destroyed in a fire caused due to electric sparks or due to some other reason, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and Revenue Department must be informed immediately so that adequate compensation could be released to the affected farmers.

UNI HS VN1629

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