Haryana announces Rs 7,000/acre incentive to farmers for switching from paddy

Chandigarh, May 6 (PTI) The Haryana government on Wednesday announced Rs 7,000 per acre incentive to farmers for switching from water-guzzling paddy to other crops and said permission to sow paddy will not be given in panchayat areas where the ground water depth is more than 35 metres.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also appealed to farmers to promote water conservation and save water for the future generations in the same way they leave their land as inheritance for their coming generations.

He said that at present if farmers save water for the future generations, only then the land would be of use to them.

Khattar said the state government has launched 'Mera Pani- Meri Virasat' scheme.          Under this scheme, farmers who switch to alternative crop in place of paddy during this season would be given an incentive of Rs 7000 per acre, according to an official statement.             The Chief Minister said that at present some part of the state fall in the dark zone, which comprises 36 blocks, where rate of depletion of ground water level has doubled in the last 12 years.

'It means that where the ground water level was earlier at 20 meters, it has now further depleted to 40 meters,” he said.         He said that there are 19 such blocks, where the water depth has exceeded 40 meters.

“The land under the Panchayat, where the depth of ground water is more than 35 meters, permission would not be given to sow paddy in those Panchayat land,” he said.        Incentive amount would be given to the concerned Gram Panchayat only.

He said that apart from these blocks, if the farmers of the remaining blocks also want to stop sowing paddy, then they can apply for the incentive amount by giving information in advance.        He urged the farmers  to make up their minds to sow crops which require less water than paddy, such as maize, arhar, urad, guar, cotton, bajra, til and grishm moong (Baisakhi moong), to ensure availability of water for future generations.        Khattar said that agricultural equipment required for maize sowing will also be arranged by the state government.

He said that 80 percent subsidy is being given to the farmers who have adopted micro- irrigation and drip irrigation system along with growing alternative crops in place of paddy.

The Chief Minister said to ensure awareness among farmers wide publicity would be given to the water conservation scheme.

A web portal would also be developed having all the necessary information about the scheme and efforts would be made to resolve the difficulties faced by the farmers. PTI SUN MR MR