An affidavit, intended for submission to the Supreme Court, has been prepared by the Punjab government concerning the issue of stubble burning. The document includes details of at least 1,084 FIRs filed against farmers, showcause notices issued to nine Deputy Commissioners and 11 SSPs, chargesheets served to cluster officers by DCs, and red entries recorded in revenue records of 340 farmers. The Supreme Court, urging the state government to halt stubble fires at any cost, criticized the government on November 7. Chief Secretary Anurag Verma has reportedly drafted the affidavit, acknowledging the government’s defensive stance. The National Green Tribunal has expressed dissatisfaction with the state’s actions to combat stubble fires. In response to showcause notices, DCs emphasized their efforts, citing machinery deployment, farmer meetings, and staff outreach. The government’s release claims Rs 1.87 crore in fines imposed in 7,990 cases, 2,587 meetings with Kisan leaders, and 1,085 flying squads established. The affidavit, reportedly, also places blame on the Centre for not providing bonuses to farmers for paddy residue management. The government contends they sought viability gap funding from the Centre, but it was denied. The affidavit traces the government’s preparatory measures, including machinery distribution and farmer sensitization. It suggests declaring paddy stubble burning as an environmental disaster but notes political pressure to be lenient on farmers.

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