Sixteen farmers have been arrested for allegedly burning stubble and two lekhpals suspended for dereliction of duty in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura district, officials said on Tuesday. District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra said a total fine of Rs 13.05 lakh is being realized from the guilty farmers through tahsil.
While 300 cases of stubble burning have been identified, two lekhapals (revenue officer) have been suspended for failing to prevent the farmers from burning their crop residue, the DM told reporters. He said the lekhpals were responsible for preventing stubble burning but they failed in their mission, resulting in punitive action against them.
The district magistrate said farmers were given full opportunity for preventing stubble burning. Through 'Kisan Pathashala', they were not only apprised of hazardous effects of stubble burning, but also tutored on alternative use of stubble, Mishra added. He said, these 'pathashalas' have helped reduce stubble burning cases. While last year 1,046 cases of stubble burning were identified using satellite images, the number has gone down to 459 so far this year, he said.