Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], September 10 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday said the Centre has refused the state government's proposal of contributing to the cash incentive to farmers for not burning stubble.
Notably, the state government had proposed to give Rs 2,500 per acre to paddy growers- 1,500 by the Centre, while Rs 1,000 per acre will be borne by Punjab and Delhi governments.
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 tons of paddy straw annually.
Punjab CM Mann took Twitter on Saturday and 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."
"But the Centre has turned down our demand," said Mann.
"However, the state government will do anything to help the farmers," Mann added.
Mann also shared some data and said that paddy is sown over 75 lakh acres.
"Farmers over an area of 37 lakh acres manage stubble through crop residue management machines or other measures," he said.
Mann said the government is arranging machines at a big scale for the rest 38 lakh acres.
These machines will help the farmers to cut paddy on 5-6 acres per day.
Under the in-situ management (mixing crop residue in soil) of the paddy stubble scheme, the Centre provides funds for supplying subsidised machines for the management of crop residue.
Stubble burning is widely prevalent in parts of the agricultural states of Punjab and Haryana. However, the severe pollution that the national capital experiences in the winter months are also attributed to the burning of stubble.
Regarding the stubble burning issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in August had inaugurated the second generation (2G) Ethanol Plant in Panipat and said it will help reduce pollution in Delhi, National Capital Region (NCR) and Haryana.
"The bio-fuel plant of Panipat will be able to dispose of the stubble without burning. Mother Earth will be relieved of the pain she endured from stubble burning. The stubble was a burden for the farmers, a cause of trouble, it would become a means of additional income for them," Modi had said. (ANI)