Centre, Punjab govt not ensuring proper arrangements for stubble management: Farmer leaders

NewsDrum Desk
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Punjab Farmer Stubble Burning.jpg

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Chandigarh: Farmer leaders in Punjab on Wednesday accused the Centre and the state government of not making proper arrangements for stubble management and said it is vehicular and industrial pollution which affects the air quality in Delhi and not farm fire.


They also said the governments should guarantee minimum support price on alternative crops such as maize and pulses to wean away growers from the water-guzzling paddy crop, which is not even native to Punjab.

Their remarks came a day after the Supreme Court, while hearing a matter related to stubble burning, observed farmers are being made "villains" and that they have not been heard.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia had also suggested why should there be any purchase under the minimum support price (MSP) system from farmers who indulge in crop residue burning, irrespective of the fact that citizens and children were affected due to pollution.


Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan Wednesday said neither the Centre nor the Punjab government is doing anything concrete on the stubble management issue.

"Not only crop residue management machinery in sufficient numbers along with manpower, incentives should also be given to farmers for management of paddy straw,” Kokrikalan said.

He said Punjab farmers are unnecessarily being blamed for pollution in Delhi, asserting that it was vehicular and industrial pollution which plays a major role in polluting air in the national capital region.


"Punjab has no role in Delhi pollution," Kokrikalan said, questioning how then the air quality index can be better in an area in Punjab where stubble is burnt in comparison to AQI in the national capital.

He said that if the governments ensure proper and adequate arrangements for stubble management, then action can be taken against any farmer burning paddy straw.

"If the governments cannot make required arrangements, then farmers should not be blamed,” he said.


The farmer leader said the governments should take action against factories which emit smoke that cause air pollution instead of farmers.

"The suggestion was being made that farmers who burn stubble should not be given MSP. But there is no action against factories which emit smoke. Why are fines not being imposed and cases being registered against such erring factories,” he asked.

Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal sought financial incentive to farmers to curb stubble burning.


"Farmers should be given financial incentives for the management of stubble,” he said.

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 cultivation - a key Rabi crop - is very short after paddy harvest, some farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue.