Curb stubble fire: Govt to Punjab

| | New Delhi
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Curb stubble fire: Govt to Punjab

Tuesday, 04 October 2022 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

The Centre on Monday asked the Punjab Government to chalk out a comprehensive action plan at the micro level for effective control of paddy stubble burning during the ensuing season.

Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry, told state officials to chalk out a detailed plan while attending a farm demonstration on Crop Residue Management (CRM) at Rangian village in Kharar tehsil of SAS Nagar district in Punjab.

“The states were also told to establish a mechanism to ensure effective utilisation of machines, promote the use of bio-decomposer in a complementary mode with the CRM machines, and promote ex-situ utilisation of straw by way of mapping demand from adjoining industries like biomass-based power plants, etc. ...If all the actions are taken at the State level in a holistic manner, stubble burning can be effectively controlled during the coming season," Likhi said. Dr Likhi further stated that the objectives of the Crop Residue Management Scheme to check air pollution caused by residue burning. The residues burning also impact the soil fertility. He urged farmers to use crop residue management scheme for better future.

To promote the use of bio-decomposer technology, the Centre has revised the operational guidelines of the CRM scheme in August 2022 and provisions have been made for conducting large-scale demonstrations of bio-decomposer on farmers' fields by way of utilising flexi-funds under the scheme.

To support the efforts of the Governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to address air pollution caused due to stubble burning and to subsidize machinery required for management of crop residue, a Central Sector Scheme on Crop Residue Management has been introduced in 2018-19. 

 Under this scheme, financial assistance @ 50per cent is provided to the farmers for purchase of crop residue management machinery and @ 80per cent  is provided to Coop. Societies, FPOs and Panchayats for establishment of Custom Hiring Centres.  The Scheme promote the usage of machines such as Super Straw Management Systems, Happy Seeder, Super Seeder, Smart Seeder, zero till seed cum fertilizer drill, Mulcher, Paddy Straw Chopper, hydraulically reversible mould board plough, Crop reapers and Reaper binders for in-situ management of crop residue and Balers & Rakes which are used for straw collection in the form of bales for other ex-situ uses of straw.

 During the period from 2018-19 to 2021-22, `2440.07 crores (Punjab – `1147.62 crores, Haryana – `693.25 crores, Uttar Pradesh – `533.67 crores, NCT of Delhi – `4.52 Crores and ICAR– `61.01 crores) have been released. 

 During the current year, so far, an amount of `240.00 crores, `191.53 crores, ` 154.29 crores and `14.18 crores have already been released to the State of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and ICAR, respectively.

 During the last four years, the states have distributed more than 2.07 lakh machines to the individual farmers and to more than 38000 CHCs in these 4 States, which also include more than 3243 Balers & Rakes which are used for ex-situ collection of straw. 

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