Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Saturday said the Centre has turned down the state government’s proposal of contributing to the cash incentive to farmers for not burning stubble.
The state government had proposed to give Rs 2,500 per acre to paddy growers and had suggested that the Centre pay Rs 1,500 per while Rs 1,000 will be borne by Punjab and Delhi governments.
In a video message, Mann said, “We had written to the Centre that it should help us over the issue of stubble burning. But the Centre has turned down our demand”.
“We had offered a joint resolution of this menace but instead of helping us the Centre has dragged its feet away from it. But it does not mean that it will deter us from ensuring the well being of our farmers and protection of environment” said the CM.
Mann said he has asked his officers to come up with another idea to check the problem and protect the environment.
The CM said that the government will arrange 1.05 lakh machines from its own resources to get rid of paddy stubble. He said paddy is sown on 75 lakh acres in Punjab. Out of this farmers on 37 lakh acres manage stubble through crop residue management machines or other measures
He said if these machines are made use optimally, then at least 96 to 97 per cent paddy stubble can be disposed of in an environment friendly manner. He said every machine could handle paddy stubble in 5-6 acres in a single day.
Mann said the government is arranging machines at a big scale for the rest 38 lakh acres. More than one lakh crop residue management machines will be made available this season for managing stubble, he said.
Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is one of the reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November as farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue before cultivating wheat and potato. Punjab generates around 20 million tonnes of paddy straw annually.
Under the in-situ management (mixing crop residue in soil) of paddy stubble scheme, the Centre provides funds for supplying subsidised machines for management of crop residue.