A day ahead of an NGT hearing on stubble burning, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Dakunda and BKU Ugrahan, the two biggest Kisan Unions of Punjab, said that small and semi-medium farmers of the state had no other option but to burn the paddy stubble till the time government supported them. They said that farmers will manage stubble on their own if the government provided them incentive. According to a Punjab government survey, there are nearly 18 lakh farm household in Punjab, out of which nearly 10.25 lakh farmers own just one to two hectares of land.
BKU Dakunda general secretary Jagmohan Singh said that Punjab government had adopted a small village — Kalar Majri of Patiala with just 390 acre land under paddy — just to save its skin before the NGT. “If Punjab government is so serious about managing the stubble it should have adopted a big
village,” he said.
“Profit margins of small, marginal and semi-medium farmers are negligible and if they will spend on stubble management machinery or hiring it they will come under more debt,” he added.
Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general Secretary of BKU Ugrahan, said: “We have just 20 days before sowing wheat to manage paddy stubble and in this period either government provides us free machinery or incentive or burning is the only way out to clear the field for sowing wheat.”
Meanwhile, farmers are planning to meet Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on the issue of farm loan waiver. The CM has called an emergency meeting of seven farmers organisations of Punjab state on coming Monday (October 16).