Provincial Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi on Wednesday said that core paddy area should be surveyed for facilitating farmers with the provision of modern machinery for the disposal of crop residuals. These views were expressed by the Minister while presiding over a meeting regarding disposal of crop residues, in Civil Secretariat here. He said the Punjab government was ensuring to promote pollution-free agriculture and in this regard, awareness was being provided to the farmers. In the meeting, Secretary Agriculture Ahmad Aziz Tarar and representatives of the Judicial Water and Environment Commission, established for control of smog, Hina Hafeez Ullah Ishaq and Syed Kamal Ali Haider also participated. Briefing the meeting, Director General Agriculture Extension Dr. Anjum Ali said that 2269 cases of setting fire to paddy residue had been reported this year, while 3224 cases were reported last year. This year there were incidents of paddy burning on 8,733 acres while last year it was 11,619, he added. Under the directions of Lahore High Court, 702 FIRs were registered against people involved in setting fire to rice residues. The Agriculture department set up 18000 village volunteer committees to create awareness among the farmers, he added. On this occasion, Director Agricultural Information Muhammad Rafiq Akhtar, while giving a briefing, said that print, electronic and social media were also being used effectively for the awareness of farmers. So far, the department of Agriculture had also distributed more than 0.1 million copies of literature for the awareness of the farmers, he added. On the occasion, the Minister proposed to the Judicial Water and Environment Commission to fine those who set fire to paddy residue on the basis of land holding so that small farmers can get relief.