As many as 297 stubble burning incidents were reported between September 21 and 25, Dr Brijender Pateriya, Director of the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre informed on Saturday.
"In our satellite-based study on fire incidents in the state, we recorded a total of 297 incidents from September 21 to 25, with most of them coming from Amritsar, Tarn Taran, and Patiala. This is 100 more than the 197 incidents that were reported last year in the same time frame," Pateriya said.
"These incidents will increase in the coming months from the southern part of the state as farmers prepare for the Rabi crops. If the burning does not stop soon, COVID-19 cases in the state and neighbouring areas could also increase and become more serious," he added.
He further said that only the farmers could remedy the situation by making the choice to not burn stubble.
"This is out of the hands of the government. They can offer many incentives but it is ultimately the decision of the state's farmers to not increase air pollution," he added.
After the early burning of crop residue was brought to notice on Tuesday, the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) wrote to the chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh to take stock of the situation and take action.
"We have written to chief secretaries of all the three states to take stock of the situation and start acting. We have asked them to implement the Supreme Court's order which is a state's responsibility," Bhure Lal, chairman of the EPCA said.
In the last few years, air pollution in the national capital has been worsening due to stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana. (ANI)