Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Wednesday that farmers are not willing to accept the restrictions on paddy cultivation being imposed by the state government.
The government has restricted paddy cultivation to 50% area in eight blocks from this crop season stating that the move is aimed to stop further depletion of the groundwater. However, the authorities are facing tough resistance from the farmer bodies. Sensing their mood, Hooda said, “The Congress stands by farmers and will support them in whatever decision they take.”
“The government is adamant on its decision. The farmer is in the best position to decide what to sow. The Congress will support the judgement of the farmer if he decides to sow paddy or any other crop,” Hooda said, adding that such decisions should be taken with the consent of the farmer and not at a time when the world is fighting against a pandemic.
The former chief minister said the concern about groundwater is legitimate and was a priority even for the Congress government, but our solution was to recharge depleting groundwater, not ban paddy cultivation. “We constructed Dadupur Nalvi and Hansi-Butana canal projects apart from construction of lakes and rival of seasonal river and nullah. We also promoted irrigation through Israeli drip system for water conservation,” he said.
The Congress leader said that the government had woken up to pressure from the Opposition on the tubewell connections, but “it has gone back on their promise of giving 6,200 connections, and are now releasing only 4,000 connections”. He said more than 84,000 farmers had applied for tubewell connections.
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