Government teachers Punjab's Gurdaspur district have demanded withdrawal of an order which has directed them to participate in creating awareness against stubble-burning.
The teachers, who have been appointed as nodal officers by the Gurdaspur district administration in their drive against crop residue burning, have sought withdrawal of the order, claiming they have been assigned villages which are "located at far off areas" and that the duties were clashing with their teaching schedule.
Harjinder Singh, general secretary of Gurdaspur Democratic Teachers Front, on Wednesday said, "The teachers have been appointed as nodal officers by the Gurdaspur administration to check stubble burning in villages. But it is not our (teachers) duty to stop crop residue burning."
Mr Singh claimed some teachers had been assigned villages which were 50 km to 60 km away from their respective schools and homes. "We (teachers) will have to travel about 60 km every day after school hours to perform the job of nodal officers, which is not feasible," he added.
Some teachers have expressed unwillingness to take part in the drive saying they may "face the wrath of farmers" on the issue.
The Gurdaspur district administration had appointed 150 teachers as nodal officers for creating awareness among farmers on the ill-effects of stubbleburning, officials said, adding that each teacher had been assigned one village.
Earlier, the Punjab government had appointed nodal officers in 8,000 paddy growing villages in the state to spread awareness on the ills of stubble burning.
These nodal officers had been tasked to reach out to village schools for organising rallies and awareness lectures to sensitise students, so that they could prevail on their parents and stop them from burning crop residue.
The secretaries of cooperative societies, panchayat secretaries of rural development, junior engineers, linemen, sub-division officers of PSPCL, officers of the departments of agriculture, horticulture and soil conservation had been engaged for this purpose.