Chandigarh, Nov 7 (PTI) The ruling AAP in Punjab Tuesday said the Bhagwant Mann government is constantly taking steps to check stubble-burning incidents in the state and as a result of this, the number of farm fires is on a decline.
Punjab Aam Aadmi Party chief spokesman Malvinder Singh Kang said so far, farmers have been provided with 1.40 lakh crop residue management machines to manage stubble.
He added that the state government also conducted massive awareness programmes in villages in order to prevent crop residue burning incidents.
"Since its formation, the Mann government has constantly been taking steps to curb stubble burning in Punjab and these efforts are even showing results," Kang said.
He said the number of farm fires has so far dropped by 40 per cent as compared to last year.
The AAP leader also said that in the last season, stubble-burning incidents had declined by 30 per cent from the previous year.
He further said the state government has decided to ban the sowing of the water-guzzling PUSA-44 variety of paddy crop from the next Kharif season.
The PUSA 44 variety takes more time to ripen, besides generating more crop residue.
Kang sought a financial package from the Centre to promote crop diversification in the state.
He said that the central government should also ensure assured prices of crops like cotton, corn and lentils so that farmers have the option to grow other crops.
Kang said the Mann government in Punjab is already taking steps to promote crop diversification in the state.
Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is considered one of the reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November.
As the window for wheat -- a key Rabi crop -- is very short after paddy harvest, some farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue for sowing of the next crop.
The AAP and the BJP have even sparred over the issue of farm fires with both the parties holding stubble burning in states ruled by the other for the air pollution in Delhi.
Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema Monday said most stubble-burning incidents are being witnessed in the BJP-ruled Haryana and Uttar Pradesh whereas such cases are declining in his state.
On Saturday, Haryana Agriculture Minister Jai Prakash Dalal slammed the Bhagwant Mann government over the stubble-burning incidents in the state. PTI CHS IJT IJT