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Farmers in Haryana to continue stubble burning
Up in arms against the Haryana Government’s decision to impose fine on farmers for burning crop residue, the farmers’ organisations in the State have decided continuing the practice of stubble burning and not paying fine to the Government.
To curb the incidents of stubble burning, Haryana Government had announced that if a farmer is found guilty of burning crop residue, he would have to pay penalty of Rs 2,500 for two acres, Rs 5,000 for two to five acres and Rs 15,000 for more than five acres, per incident.
Even after the ban on crop-residue burning, the illegal practice has been going on unabated in various parts of Haryana this year.
While lashing out at the State Government for not making any alternative arrangements for the farmers, Gurnam Singh Chaduni, Haryana chief of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) while talking to The Pioneer said that in absence of required agricultural equipments, the farmers are forced to burn crop residue.
On imposition of penalty starting from Rs 2500 onwards for stubble burning, he said that the farming community has decided not to pay any such fine to the State Government for stubble burning and the entire gram panchayat will protest if the Government seeks fine from any farmer.
When asked why the farmers are continuing with the practice of stubble burning, he said that there is no alternative except burning of crop residue. The farmers cannot buy the straw management implements due to their high cost. The farmers had suggested the Government to buy it for gram panchayats so that farmers can utilize it instead of burning the crop residue, said Gurnam Singh.
Even if the Government is providing subsidy on such agricultural equipments to farmers, they cost in lakhs of rupees and the farmers can not afford to buy it for one time utilisation, he added.
On the issue of stubble burning, Rattan Mann, Haryana president of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Mann faction) said that imposition of fine on farmers for stubble burning is not the solution to this problem.
The State Government should provide required equipments to the farmers to manage the stubble, said he.
Mann added that the crop stubble is being dumped by the farmers in front of Government offices in protest against Government’s decision of imposition of fine on farmers.
To keep a check on incidents of stubble burning this year, Haryana Government has announced that sarpanches of gram panchayats would be held responsible for such incidents in their jurisdiction. The Government has also started satellite monitoring from September 22.
Besides, sub divisional officers (SDOs), patwaris and Gram Sachivs would be made answerable in their respective areas for burning of crop residue. And, strict action would be initiated against SDOs, Patwaris and Gram Sachivs who fail to report cases of burning crop stubble in their respective areas, said Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Department Abhilaksh Likhi.
He added that the assistance of sarpanches of gram panchayats is also sought to make people aware about the disadvantages of burning crop stubble, and they would be made answerable for such incidents.
In Haryana, crop stubble burning in both Rabi and Kharif seasons has emerged as a menace in this region, causing severe environmental problems. After witnessing severe levels of air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR) due to stubble burning in November last year, Haryana Government had also proposed to set up six paddy straw based power projects in the State. The thick smog hanging over northern parts of the country due to burning of crop residue had also caused road fatalities due to poor visibility in November last year.
Haryana to spend Rs 12 crore for crop residue management: Haryana CS
Haryana Government will spend a sum of Rs 12 crore for the management of crop residue in the State, Chief Secretary DS Dhesi said while presiding over a meeting of State Level Sanctioning Committee of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) here on Tuesday.
Projects worth Rs Rs 167 crore were approved in the meeting out of which Rs 12 crore was approved for various activities of crop residue management. This would include providing subsidy for purchase of Happy Seeders, Straw Balers and Straw Reapers.
During 2016-17, purchase of 1,462 Straw Reapers and 68 Happy Seeders was subsidised under RKVY.
Dhesi said that during 2017-18, provision has been made for the purchase of 2,433 Straw Reapers, 231 Happy Seeders and 38 Straw Balers.
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