Punjab farmers say they have no option but to burn stubble, claim industries, vehicles contribute more to pollution

Asian News International
The practice of crop residue burning started with mechanised harvesting in 1980s, for both paddy and wheat residues as it leaves taller stubbles of 1-2 ft compared with less than 6 inch in manual harvesting.

Amritsar: Farmers in Punjab on Saturday claimed that industries and vehicles majorly contribute to air pollution and not stubble burning.

For the last few days, Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) have been experiencing pollution due to the burning of stubble in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. However, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee district secretary Jarmanjeet Singh told ANI, "The farmers have no other option than to burn stubble. We will not let the government impose fines on farmers for stubble burning. Industries and vehicles majorly contribute to pollution, not farmers".

Demanding a subsidy for farmers as per the directives of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), he said, "The Green Tribunal also said that farmers with two acres of land must be given tools free of cost. The owners of five acres of land would be given Rs 5,000 subsidy while the farmers having land more than five acres will get an amount of Rs 15,000. But the government is doing nothing in this regard."

Speaking on the suggested alternative of making cardboard out of paddy straw, another farmer explained that it is not a feasible option for them. "It (paddy straw) is just sand for us. They say that cardboard can be made out of it but only if the government takes the initiatives. Labour is costly; they ask us for Rs 4000 per acre. Where are we going to pay this amount from?" he asked while speaking to ANI.

Also See: Arvind Kejriwal slams Haryana, Punjab govts over stubble burning, says their 'criminal' inaction will turn NCR into gas chamber

Stubble burning: Neither subsidy nor penalty can stop debt-ridden farmers of Punjab from torching straw

Pollution alert issued in the North as anti-stubble burning efforts in Punjab and Haryana go up in smoke

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