SAYING THAT burning of paddy stubble was causing severe air pollution, Punjab’s Health Minister Brahm Mohindra Monday asserted that politicians cutting across party lines should come on a joint platform to devise a policy to check the pollution menace rather than playing politics over it.
Mohindra was speaking on the sidelines of a function organised to distribute Sat Pal Mittal National awards and also mark the 128th birth anniversary of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Mohindra pointed out that even as stubble burning was adding to air pollution, many farmers have no other solution. He said,”A proper solution should be provided to them so that next season, they don’t burn crop in fields.”
Farmers had sought Rs 200 per acre as compensation for not burning fields so as to use this money in ploughing back the fields. However, no financial help came from the Centre and the state also did not provide funds. Thus, stubble burning was done like the previous year. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had also said FIRs would not be lodged against farmers for burning stubble, though challans were issued.
Targeting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his stand that stubble burning should not be done, Mohindra said, “His own Leader of Opposition in Punjab (Sukhpal Singh Khaira) is standing alongside farmers and burning fields, This shows Kejriwal’s double standards yet again.”
On Kejriwal’s call for a joint meeting on the issue, he said the Delhi CM should not pass the buck to any particular state as smog was an issue that has affected the entire northern part of India and hence a joint solution was needed. He added that Kejriwal should desist from playing politics over the issue.
During the function, Mohindra handed over awards to Ravindernath, Mangu Singh, Nitin Kumar Nand and Ashok Chaitly for social services in different sectors. He also distributed scholarships to meritorious students from economically weak backgrounds. Congress MLAs Surinder Dawar, Sanjay Talwar were also present on the occasion.